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Orlando shooting victims' families sue Twitter, Google, Facebook

The families claim the influential tech companies didn't do enough to limit the reach of the Islamic State.

In June 2016, 49 people were killed by a heavily armed gunman at Pulse, a popular Florida gay bar.
Gerardo Mora, Getty Images

Families of the Orlando shooting victims have filed a lawsuit against Twitter, Google and Facebook for failing to limit the reach of the Islamic State group.

Filed Monday in the Eastern District of Michigan, the families accuse the tech companies of supplying Islamic State-supporting individuals with the means to "spread extremist propaganda, raise funds, and attract new recruits." The suit was first reported by Fox News.

Twitter and Google didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

"Our Community Standards make clear that there is no place on Facebook for groups that engage in terrorist activity or for content that expresses support for such activity," Facebook said in a statement. "We take swift action to remove this content when it's reported to us."

Forty-nine people were killed and dozens more injured June 12 after gunman Omar Mateen, who declared himself to be an Islamic soldier, opened fire inside Pulse, a popular Florida gay bar. It was the worst mass shooting in US history.

With mass shootings an increasingly frequent problem in the US, news and video distribution platforms -- and their ability to quickly disseminate information -- have come under legal pressure to actively limit the ability of violence-inciting groups to attract and inflame supporters.

The suit's claims take aim at Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which has traditionally provided some immunity to sites and service providers from actions taken by their users.

First published December 20, 10:04 a.m. PT.

Update, 11:28 p.m.: Adds comment from Facebook.