SCIENCE + TECHNOLOGY

Supreme Court shields Twitter from liability for terror-related content

May 18, 2023, 8:46 AM | Updated: 9:22 am

FILE - The Twitter splash page is seen on a digital device, April 25, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo...

FILE - The Twitter splash page is seen on a digital device, April 25, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File) ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

Originally Published: 18 MAY 23 10:26 ET
Updated: 18 MAY 23 10:38 ET

(CNN) — Twitter will not have to face accusations it aided and abetted terrorism when it hosted tweets created by the terror group ISIS, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The court also dismissed a closely watched case about social media content moderation in a case involving Google, skipping a decision that legal experts warned might have upended the broader internet.

The rulings are wins for Twitter and other tech platforms that have faced a barrage of lawsuits from critics who allege they should be held legally responsible for societal harms, including terrorist attacks.

The decision was unanimous and written by Justice Clarence Thomas.

The court held that Twitter’s hosting of general terrorist speech does not create indirect legal responsibility for specific terrorist attacks, effectively raising the bar for future such claims. The Twitter ruling a major defeat for tech critics who have said that social media platforms must be held accountable with the threat of more lawsuits.

“We conclude,” Thomas wrote, “that plaintiffs’ allegations are insufficient to establish that these defendants aided and abetted ISIS in carrying out the relevant attack.”

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Supreme Court shields Twitter from liability for terror-related content