Twitter to Identify Anti-Semitic Users in France
Six months after court ruling, company turns over names to French authorities
Six months after a French court ordered Twitter to turn over the names of French users tweeting anti-Semitic messages on the micro-blogging site—and one month after a higher court upheld that ruling—the social networking giant announced that it had complied, submitting the relevant information to French authorities, the Times of Israel reports:
The company said the move “puts an end to the dispute” with the Union of Jewish Students in France, which had filed the request for information, and that Twitter and the UEJF had “agreed to continue to work actively together in order to fight racism and anti-Semitism.”
In March, Jillian Scheinfeld detailed the French student union’s exhaustive efforts to get Twitter to identify the users behind the troublingly popular #unbonJuif hashtag, which had become one of the site’s top three trending topics in October 2012 (“A good Jew is a dead Jew” was one example). After complaining to the San Francisco-based company and hearing nothing back, they took their case to court.
On Jan. 24, the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance, or Superior Court, ordered Twitter to hand over the names of people promoting the #UnBonJuif hashtag. Twitter now faces a fine of a thousand euros for every day it fails to comply—peanuts to a company valued at more than $9 billion. Unlike its social-media rivals Facebook and Google, Twitter has adopted a policy of nonintervention when it comes to hate speech on its platform. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, in a report released this week, gave the company an F for its lackadaisical approach to fighting hate speech. Facebook, on the other hand, which has been quick to block users promoting hate speech, got an A- for its work with organizations, experts in the industry, and governments to increase its transparency.
Six months (and presumably nearly 180,000 euros) later, it seems that Twitter is finally taking action.
It’s been all downhill since Marina Weisband left