Hot! “Hate Speech” on Twitter Racking Up Fines in France

040113_Twitter_Scott Beale

A trend of anti-Semitism on Twitter is racking up fines for the company, as French Jewish groups sue the social media platform for “public insult.” In France, “public insult” against any religion, race, ethnicity, or nationality is a crime punishable by fines and prison time. When the hashtag #UnBonJuif (A Good Jew) rose in popularity late last year, anti-Semitic comments flooded Twitter and violence increased in France.

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As a result, the Union for French Jewish Students asked Twitter to turn over the names of the #UnBonJuif users to the government. When Twitter did not respond, the UEFJ sued and won the case. The Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance ordered Twitter to turn over the names or pay steep, daily fines. Twitter has done neither, only removing some of the offensive tweets. The company has a policy of not turning over data unless compelled by a U.S. Court.

French-Jewish groups are now suing Twitter for $50 million, while the company says it will continue to stand behind its stated policy, and its belief in protecting free speech.

Read the full article here.


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Flickr photo courtesy of Scott Beale

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