Twitter releases user data to France after lawsuit over anti-Semitic tweets

( Twitter has released data identifying users to French authorities in response to a January ruling by a French court regarding anti-Semitic tweets posted in October 2012 under the hashtag #unbonjuif (#agoodjew). The hashtag was trending as the third-most tweeted subject in France, with tweets such as “a good Jew is a dead Jew.”

Click photo to download. Caption: Twitter agreed to release the data of users who posted anti-Semitic tweets to French authorities. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

When a French court decided last January that Twitter must reveal the identities of users who sent out those anti-Semitic tweets, Twitter, which is bound by U.S. free speech laws, initially refused to release the data. France's Union of Jewish Students (UEJF) then sued Twitter for 38.5 million euros.

“Social media is becoming more and more of a problem for us if you look at anti-Semitism,” Ronald Eissens, co-founder of the Dutch anti-racism group Magenta and the International Network Against Cyber Hate (INACH), which works to counter cyber-hate and has 21 members in 20 countries, told in February. “There’s a lot of it around. Prosecution is a lot harder because most social media are based firmly in the U.S.”

After agreeing to release the data, Twitter said in a statement that the social network will work with UEJF “to fight racism and anti-Semitism,” and “to improve the accessibility of the procedure for notifications of illicit tweets,” Israel National News reported. Read more about online European anti-Semitism here. 


Posted on July 12, 2013 .