After Facebook “censors” anti-Muslim posts, hate groups sue US gov’t

Enlarge / US anti-Islam activists Pamela Geller (L) and Robert Spencer as seen here in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2012. (credit: AFP / Getty Images News)

In July 2016, an organization called the “American Freedom Defense Initiative” joined another group called Jihad Watch in suing US Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Both entities felt slighted by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

In their 25-page civil complaint, the two anti-Muslim activists and their respective organizations made a ludicrous argument. The groups claimed that as the country’s top cop, Lynch “enforces” Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a law that limits libel and other civil suits filed against websites, service providers, and other online publishers. However, the Communications Decency Act is a civil, rather than a criminal, statute.

AFDI—which the Southern Poverty Law Center designated last year as an anti-Muslim hate group—is the same group that opposed the proposed Park51 Islamic center that was to be built two blocks from Ground Zero. In 2013, the AFDI's co-founder, Pamela Geller and her fellow co-founder Robert Spencer (who also founded JihadWatch), were banned from entering the United Kingdom for their “extremist” views.

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