Join the most important conference in the Jewish world
Court orders Twitter to identify anti-Semitic users
ByREUTERS
January 26, 2013 19:50
French court orders Twitter Inc to help identify authors of anti-Semitic posts or face fines; social network under renewed pressure to combat racist, extremist messages.
UN OFFICIAL Khulood Badawi posted this

Anti-Israel Twitter post 390. (photo credit:Twitter screenshot)

PARIS - A French court on Thursday ordered Twitter Inc to help identify the authors of anti-Semitic posts or face fines of 1,000 euros ($1,300) per day, as the social network firm comes under renewed pressure to combat racist and extremist messages.

The order, requested by a Jewish student union and rights groups, concerned anti-Semitic material but could open the floodgates to legal pursuit of Twitter users who post a wide range of messages deemed illegal or offensive.



Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


"This is an excellent decision, which we hope will bring an end to the feeling of impunity that fuels the worst excesses," said Stephane Lilti, lawyer for the groups who sought the ruling.

The anti-Semitic messages started appearing last October, and have since been deleted.

The Paris court gave privately-held Twitter, whose general policy is that it does not control content posted on its network, 15 days to hand over data identifying people who have published messages judged anti-Semitic.

The court also ordered Twitter to set up a system in France that helps people draw attention to illegal content. Under French law, people found guilty of inciting racial hatred can be jailed for a year and fined.

Twitter's lawyer in France, Alexandra Neri, declined to comment.

Failure to comply would expose the firm, founded in 2006 and now boasting 140 million monthly active users worldwide, to daily fines of 1,000 euros if the groups who sought the order request it, which Lilti said they would not hesitate to do.

A rights group involved in the case was quick to point out that the injunction, while limited to a case of anti-Semitic traffic, set a precedent that could also have a wider impact.

"This marks a decisive step forward in the battle against racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic offenses on the Internet," the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA) said in a statement.

"Nobody can ignore French law, not even the giants of the American digital economy." For a first time, Twitter deployed a new message-blocker in Germany last October to jam the posting of messages by a neo-Nazi group banned by police.

A tool Twitter calls "country withheld content" allows it to censor tweets considered illegal in a given country. ($1 = 0.7530 euros)
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

Tags:
  • Israel news
  • twitter
  • Prev Article
    UK MP apologizes for Jews and Holocaust remark
    Auschwitz
    Silvio Berlusconi meets Amos Luzzatto, September 17, 2003
    Berlusconi defends Mussolini on Holocaust day
    Next Article
    Share this article via
    from around the web
    Related Content
    Joan Rivers
    August 28, 2014
    Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery

    By JPOST.COM STAFF

    Top Stories
    Israel Weather
    • 4 - 18
      Beer Sheva
      7 - 18
      Tel Aviv - Yafo
    • 5 - 15
      Jerusalem
      8 - 17
      Haifa
    • 9 - 23
      Elat
      8 - 21
      Tiberias