Federal lawsuit claims Facebook radicalized Dylann Roof
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A federal lawsuit claims Facebook radicalized Dylann Roof culminating in the 2015 shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston.
The federal lawsuit filed Wednesday by the daughter and widow of Reverend Clementa Pinckney one of nine Black parishioners killed in the racially motivated attack during a bible study.
Roof later said he had hoped to start a race war. According to the lawsuit, Roof was not radicalized at home.
“Rather, research shows that Roof was radicalized online by white supremacist propaganda that was directed to him by the Defendants,” the lawsuit states. “Through repetitious exposure to online white supremacist propaganda, Roof learned how to hate and grew obsessed with white replacement theory.”
The lawsuit also names Russian defendants. The lawsuit alleges these hostile foreign actors were looking for a way to create civil unrest and took advantage of Meta’s algorithms to peddle racial narratives and misinformation.
The lawsuit states the defendants conspired together to “target individuals like Roof who would be susceptible to online engagement” in white supremacist propaganda and ideology that leads to offline violence.
“By design, Roof was shown so much white supremacist propaganda that he believed the heinous act he ultimately committed at Mother Emanual was necessary to spark a race war and save the white race,” the lawsuit states. “Roof’s online radicalization led directly to unspeakable offline violence. And it was all entirely foreseeable to Defendants.”
The lawsuit states Facebook became a breeding ground for extremism because of its lack of guardrails.
No specific amount in damages is listed but the family does want a jury trial.
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