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French Court Orders Twitter To Reveal Identities Of Those Behind Anti-Semitic Tweets

We told you about Twitter’s refusal to identify users responsible for sending anti-Semitic tweets for the French government without a U.S. subpoena compelling them to do so.

Well, score one for the Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) as they’ve convinced a French court to order Twitter to release this info. 

Why is it a big deal? Though being culturally unaware is all the rage, we’d be remiss if we didn’t share: It seems France has this “thing” about Holocaust denial and hate speech – it’s a crime. And these lovely (soon to be revealed) Twitterers are apparently guilty.

According to The New York Times, “Twitter said in a statement that it was reviewing the ruling and whether it might appeal [the court's decision] to provide data in its possession that could permit the identification of anyone who has contributed to the creation of manifestly illegal tweets.” 

Several French government officials, including Fleur Pellerin, the digital-economy minister, and Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, a spokeswoman for the government, have called on Twitter to step up its efforts to root out racist material. The contents on Twitter and other social networks, they say, should comply with local laws and sensibilities, no matter where the companies are based.

The court stopped short of recommending screening, but said that Twitter should “set up, within the framework of its French platform, an easily accessible and visible system enabling anyone to bring to its attention illegal content, especially that which falls within the scope of the apology of crimes against humanity and incitement to racial hatred.”

Does this sound reasonable to you or no? Remember, Twitter WILL turn over the identities of people who commit crimes (when ordered to do so), so that isn’t the issue. The issue is whether or not Twitter should honor orders from courts wherever Twitter is available or if it should only honor U.S. law.

(Hate image from Shutterstock)

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