The Supreme Court unanimously sided with tech companies Thursday in two cases that charged them with “aiding and abetting” terrorism, declining to address a heated question on the extent of immunity granted to social media platforms for content hosted on their website.
Justice Clarence Thomas authored the majority opinion in Twitter v. Taamneh, a lawsuit brought by the family of a Jordanian citizen, Nawras Alassaf, who was killed in the January 2017 ISIS attack at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey. Thomas wrote that “plaintiffs’ allegations are insufficient to establish that these defendants aided and abetted ISIS in carrying out the relevant attack.”
Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy sent a formal request for information Thursday to major tech companies demanding data on “misinformation” related to the COVID-19 vaccine and the virus itself, The New York Times reported.
The request demanded the companies provide data on “exactly how many users saw or may have been exposed to instances of Covid-19 misinformation,” as well as the particular demographics most affected by misleading information, according to the NYT. Murthy also reportedly demanded data on the sources of COVID-19 misinformation, particularly related to discredited treatments for the virus.
A series of new leaks from Big Tech giant Facebook has revealed even more bias against conservatives from the company’s employees, even to the point of causing internal debates between employees and upper management, according to the New York Post.
The latest leaks come from message board conversations reviewed by the Post, which showed back-and-forth discussions within Facebook about how to deal with conservative news outlets during last year’s race riots by far-left domestic terrorist organizations such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa.
Some employees expressed their desire to completely remove sites such as Breitbart from Facebook’s “News Tab” feature. When one such employee asked a manager about doing so, the manager responded by pointing out that “we saw drops in trust in CNN 2 years ago,” before rhetorically asking “would we take the same approach for them too?”
Several major tech companies spoke out against the Texas Heartbeat Act, taking down pro-life websites and funding out-of-state abortions.
The “Texas Heartbeat Act” enacted May 19, prohibits abortions after the unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, with exceptions for medical emergencies. The law includes a provision providing a civil cause of action to sue a person who “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion,” and may result in a plaintiff receiving $10,000 or more for each abortion found to be in violation of the law.
Despite calls for increased regulation of the tech industry, Congress has yet to pass any major legislation, leaving it up to the states to take action curbing tech companies’ power and influence.
Meanwhile, state legislatures have introduced and enacted legislation on data privacy, antitrust, and content moderation, while state attorneys general have issued a number of legal challenges alleging anticompetitive business practices.