Twitter must disclose anti-Semitic tweet authors, says French court

Twitter may be forced to disclose the names of anonymous anti-Semitic tweeters following a French court's ruling

by The Commentator on 13 June 2013 14:14

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A French court has ordered Twitter to disclose the names of anonymous users accused of posting racist and anti-Semitic tweets, rejecting an appeal that the company filed in March.

According to The Verge, a decision was handed down on Wednesday, whereby a Paris appeals court confirmed that Twitter must provide its user data to France's Union of Jewish Students (UEJF) and four other human rights organisations that filed a complaint against the company in November 2012.

The UEJF took action against Twitter after the hashtags #unbonjuif ("a good Jew") and #unjuifmort ("a dead Jew") were tweeted.

The appeals court determined that Twitter had not provided convincing justification for witholding the names.

"We have made important progress with Twitter since December," government spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said in a statement Wednesday. "Anti-discrimination organisations can intervene to stop the avalanche of hate speech that regularly floods the internet, but the illegal messages posted on Twitter remain no less illegal, and adhering to French law is not optional."

UEJF president Jonathan Hayoun lauded the court's decision, saying it's clear that Twitter can no longer "play with French justice."

"Our goal is to put a stop to the sense of impunity that racist and anti-Semitic authors feel on the internet," Hayoun said. "And Twitter must cooperate when this is the case."

Twitter has stated that it may reappeal. 

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