[JURIST] Tamara Fields, the widow of a defense contractor killed in an Islamic State (IS) terrorist attack in November, filed suit [complaint, PDF] Wednesday against social media website Twitter alleging the company knowingly permitted IS to use their network to spread extremist propaganda. The complaint was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] in San Francisco. Fields attributes the growth of IS to Twitter, which is estimated [NBC report] to allow 70,000 accounts to tweet at least 90 times every minute. A representative of Twitter responded expressing deep sorrow for the family, but stated that Twitter is not responsible for promoting terrorism. The Twitter rules [text] prohibit threats of violence, which the company claims to actively investigate to rid the network of extremist content.
Twitter's social media policies have led to both domestic and international controversies. In April a prosecutor in Turkey ordered [JURIST report] Internet providers to block social networking sites including Twitter and YouTube. Twitter was also involved in a class action lawsuit [USA Today report] for eavesdropping on direct messages in September. In March a former female engineer employed by Twitter sued the company for gender discrimination [WPreport] claiming Twitter's promotion process unfairly favored men.