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French Court Upholds Twitter Racist User Transparency

French court orders Twitter to release the information of those who post anti-Semitic or racist tweets, upholding lower court decision.
By Rina Tzvi
First Publish: 6/13/2013, 9:00 PM

Twitter site
Twitter site
AFP file

A French court ordered Twitter on Thursday to release information on those who post anti-Semitic or racist tweets on the microblogging site.

Backing up a lower court's decision in January, the Paris appeal court ordered Twitter to provide information about "racist or anti-Semitic" tweets to a Jewish students’ group and four anti-racist campaigns, the RFI news agency reports.

Twitter had failed to comply with the court order, leading France's Union of Jewish Students (UEJF) to take further action against the site.

Twitter has also failed to create an "easily accessible and visible" means for users to notify "illicit" content, it added, according to RFI.

The appeals court found that Twitter had not provided sufficient justification for withholding the identifies of the perpetrators.

"We have made important progress with Twitter since December. Anti-discrimination organizations 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, said French government spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said in a statement.

The French Jewish union had been pressing Twitter to exercise tighter control of a deluge of anti-Semitic messages posted under the hashtag #unbonjuif (#agoodjew), with some posting that “a good Jew” is “a death Jew.”

Twitter later removed some of the offending tweets, but refused to release the identities of the users.