French Gay Rights Group Doesn't Like Homophobic Hashtag, Plans To Sue Twitter

Credit: JoshSemans/wikimediaCredit: JoshSemans/wikimediaA French gay rights group is planning to sue Twitter after a homophobic hashtag was the most trending topic over the weekend in France.

The group, called IDAHO (the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia), wants Twitter to give French authorities information on the users who used the hashtag. The hope is that those who used the hashtag will be prosecuted for violating France’s hate speech laws.

From UPI:

PARIS, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- A French gay rights groups said it will sue Twitter after the hashtag "gays must die" became the nation's most popular "trending" topic over the weekend.

A pro-gay French group dubbed the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, or IDAHO, said Monday its members plan to sue Twitter to turn over the information on users who used the hashtag and turn the information over to French authorities to be investigated for allegedly violating France's hate speech laws, TheLocal.fr said.

"We support free expression, and we understand that there are some people who simply don't like gay people, but this is a call for the extermination of the gay community," said Alexander Marcel, a member of IDAHO. "Twitter hasn't deleted a single homophobic tweet, nor removed a single homophobic hashtag from its list of most popular trending terms."

As is noted over at The Daily Dot, this is not the first time that Twitter will have to deal with French hate speech legislation. Last year, a French court ordered the social media site to identify users who tweeted anti-semitic remarks.

Given that the homophobic hashtag was trending it is unlikely that every user who included the hashtag in a tweet is going to be investigated if IDAHO is successful in suing Twitter. 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Way to make your group less sympathetic. (You were already in the hole by being French.)

  • ||

    "No, they're from the Republic of French Stereotypes. Everybody hates them."

  • FYTW||

    I kind of wonder what would happen if Twitter told the French authorities to go fuck themselves. I mean, does Twitter have any assets in France that French courts could order seized?

  • Brandybuck||

    They could erect a National Firewall and block Twitter. Actually if it were me I would tell them to do just that and then ignore them.

  • Hugh Akston||

    The remedy for hate speech is not lawsuits, but more speech. I suggest a new hashtag: #frenchpeoplearegay

  • Tonio||

    No! Gay people already have enough problems without the French, Hugh.

  • JW||

    "We support free expression"

    No, you really don't.

  • ||

    Some expression is obviously freer than others.

  • Generic Stranger||

    IDAHO? Really?

    ...have they ever been there?!

  • Tonio||

    Maybe their thinking about their own private Idaho. Also, yeah, worst acronym ever.

  • Enough About Palin||

    "(My) own private Idaho"

    Love that film; River Phoenix was great in it.

  • ||

    One of Gus Van Sant's best movies.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Is that the one where those two high school kids bone it in the shower?

  • Gladstone||

    That's Elephant.

  • Hugh Akston||

    My other guess was going to be Good Will Hunting.

  • ||

    No, it was his shot-for-shot remake of Psycho. Because doing a shot-for-shot remake makes total sense. Does it make sense to you, Hugh?

  • Hugh Akston||

    As long as it has two nubile young dudes boning it in the shower, it makes perfect sense.

  • ||

    I agree. See, Hugh? We actually agree on something. Which means that something is very, very wrong.

  • 1Buck||

    In related news, a group of French prostitutes is suing IDAHO, demanding the return of their acronym.

  • Almanian!||

    + OHNOYOUDI'N'T

  • ||

    Get tired of posting as "Redefining Marriage"?

  • Almanian!||

    And you're just a troll.

    BEGONE, DEMON!

  • Hugh Akston||

    There's a difference between tolerance and acceptance, Slappy. We all support the unfettered right to free speech even though we constantly tell you to shut your racist gob.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Well that depends. If it happened between May and September, I was probably watching baseball. If not I was probably spanking it to MILF pr0n.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    What's a good, free MILF site?

    What? Just asking.

  • Almanian!||

    For a friend?

    www.Iforgetnow.com

  • Calidissident||

    I briefly read up on the situation. Does Taylor have any evidence that the hotels cancelled due to death threats? If he doesn't, I'm not sure what exactly we're supposed to be outraged about. Hotels have every right to refuse to hold a conference because they object to their message or think it will hurt their business. Obviously, death threats aren't acceptable behavior. If you can provide something to substantiate Taylor's claim, I'd appreciate it

  • Almanian!||

    Shorter American: "Derp"

    You keep building those strawmen and burning them down, halfwit.

  • wwhorton||

    I don't know, still looks to me like a private company turning away customers they don't agree with, not a government preventing them from exercising their 1st amendment rights.

  • Calidissident||

    Yeah. As I said, I strongly condemn threats of violence, if they indeed happened in this case. That said, threats or no threats, it makes a lot of business sense for a hotel to refuse to hold an AmRen conference, and they have every right to do so. They certainly tried to make it clear that they condemned AmRen's views and claimed they were unaware of those views when the conference was booked.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I hadn't even heard of it, fuckwit. So please go die.

  • ||

    See, you even have the right to use words like renaissance in a way that doesn't jive with it's actual meaning. That's pretty free...

  • Acosmist||

    Same with you and "jive"

  • Anonymous Coward||

    So when hotels refuse to accomodate black people under the auspices of freedom of association, that's great. But when hotels refuse to accomodate racists under the auspices of freedom of association, that's an attack on freedom of speech.

    As always, you are an amusing little shit, Murikin.

  • Sigivald||

    I don't know about "official libertarians" (?), but I never said anything about that because I've never heard of American Renaissance.

    I do, in fact, defend everybody's right to free speech.

    (Also, is Reason an "official libertarian" anything? It's not part of the Libertarian Party.

    Also also, I just looked up American Renaissance, and I think they're loathesome semi-crypto-racist jackasses.

    But I still think nobody has any right to shut them up about anything.)

  • Mickey Rat||

    Valar Morghulis,IDAHO.

  • Dweebston||

    it is unlikely that every user who included the hashtag in a tweet is going to be investigated

    Which tells you everything you need to know about this group's motive: they don't want threats investigated, they want speech chilled.

  • Enough About Palin||

    "The group, called IDAHO (the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia)"

    Wouldn't that be IDAHT?

  • jesse.in.mb||

    I'm sure after IDAHO was already established someone flew into a butthurt rage that transphobia wasn't the same thing as homophobia and trans activism needed to be properly propitiated.

  • JW||

    Well then, that makes it IDAHOT.

  • jesse.in.mb||

    Ugh, but then you have to change the stationary.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "The group, called IDAHO (the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia)"

    That is so gay

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Is Feeney worried about the French suing him to find out who was behind the alt-text?

  • Enough About Palin||

    "IDAHO, said Monday its members plan to sue Twitter to turn over the information on users who used the hashtag and turn the information over to French authorities to be investigated for allegedly violating France's hate speech laws, TheLocal.fr said."

    This is why gays must die.

  • lap83||

    Do they think this move will stop gay people from dying or do they just think they are entitled to less internet bullying than the rest of us?

  • ||

    "We support free expression,...... but....."

    Isnt that an explicit admission that they dont support free expression?

  • wwhorton||

    "We support free expression, as long as we like it."

    -or-

    "We support free expression, except when we don't."

  • Gladstone||

    You know which other French person opposed Speech they didn't like?

  • Almanian!||

    Guy de Maupassant? Inspector Clouseau's boss? Madame Tussaud's wax figures?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    If you say Marshal Petain, is that a Godwin?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    How about, "which French persons defended the free-expression rights of people they disagreed with?"

  • lap83||

    Marcel Marceau?

  • PS wanders the Wasteland||

    My own privacy, IDAHO!

  • Gladstone||

    The name is English? Holy cultural Imperialism!

  • Hugh Akston||

    It's cool dude. Just put Le in front of it and pronounce it like L'idiot. Totes French.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Hugh Akston||

    HM, I never think I'm being funny.

  • Gladstone||

    Huh in French the H is silent...

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Totes French.

    What. The. Fuck. I'm perfectly okay with forcing people to stop using "totes" as an acceptable form of speech.

  • jesse.in.mb||

    That's cray-cray MLG, you're just totes jeallie that we're having such amay-may fun wit the language.*

    (That was painful to write. I suffer for my art. le sigh)

  • Almanian!||

    Do these guys srsly not realize what fags they look like for doing this? Srsly?

    /Cartman

  • Gladstone||

    They should change it from day to Month:

    IMAHO

  • ||

    Yes. Yes, you are.

  • Dave Krueger||

    It always goes like this:

    "We support free expression,but..."

    In other words, we support free expression right up until you say something we don't like. They've gone from being oppressed to being an oppressor. How soon they forget.

    Criminal prosecution is the use of force backed by threat violence, so hate speech laws punish speech with violence. It's a contradiction in terms to support free speech AND hate speech laws.

  • Sigivald||

    That's kind of the point I always make to my Progressive (especially Canadian) friends when they demand "hate speech" laws or the like.

    "How will you feel about that when the Conservatives have a strong majority and start defining opposition to THEM as 'hate speech'?

    Oh, that's different?

    No. It's not. That's the problem."

  • Finrod||

    Bingo.

  • Anders||

    Given that Twitter is owned and operated by homosexuals this seems ridiculous.

    It would be like the Gay Pride people suing Paramount.

    Hello? You are attacking your fellow ass bandits and rug munchers.

  • Gladstone||

    Well there are gays boycotting a pro-gay opponent of Putin...

  • Anders||

    Yes. And what Putin is doing is simply trying (and succeeding) in winding up gays and people who are ok with gays.

    It's a transparent ploy that, sadly, many people are falling for.

  • jesse.in.mb||

    Avid RT viewer are we?

  • Gladstone||

    Well it is the most libertarian network EVAH and reasonoids appear on it all the time as it Speaks Truth to Power.

  • Sigivald||

    I personally boggle at anyone who thinks the Russian Times is not useless Kremlin propaganda.

    But - and I say this having no idea what the RT line on Putin and gays is - the hypothesis is, in a way, sound and plausible.

    "Gays! Foreign interference!" is a great way to distract people and to get their nationalist/nativist and/or socially conservative backs up to support you, if you can pull it off.

    And when gay organizations worldwide take the bait and organize protests and boycotts, that just helps you have something to point at, with "gays and foreigners trying to run Russia".

    It's a very old and sadly very effective tactic for a strongman.

  • jesse.in.mb||

    Oh RT's thing on it is that the law's really not that bad because Russians hate gays anyway. They clipped an interview with the most prominent gay rights activist in Russia to make it sound like he was saying it wasn't a big deal and found a British gay expat to say there was a thriving culture and things were pretty hunky dory.

  • Redmanfms||

    And when gay organizations worldwide take the bait and organize protests and boycotts, that just helps you have something to point at, with "gays and foreigners trying to run Russia".

    Well, he did use the tactic against the "oligarchs and Jews" several years ago in his crony-tastic wealth/industry grabs.

    The dimwits on Stormfront ate that shit up like it was caviar.

  • Anders||

    No idea what the RT cracks are about given that they tend to be more honest than See-BS, NBC-urgh, and ABCrap.

    Pooty almost certainly doesn't dislike fags given that he is widely rumored to like Gillespie's Kielbasa in his buns.

    But Pooty sure is clever when it comes to getting the rainbow warriors exercised. He also seems to be quite good at making western leaders look like impotent idiots.

  • Gladstone||

    No idea what the RT cracks are about given that they tend to be more honest than See-BS, NBC-urgh, and ABCrap.

    You mean more honest about the US.

  • Gladstone||

    Also RT has Thom Hartmann.

  • jesse.in.mb||

    Pooty almost certainly doesn't dislike fags given that he is widely rumored to like Gillespie's Kielbasa in his buns.

    Because no tough guy ever has been a closet case who acts more aggressively against gay people to maintain their machismo public persona? Unless there's reasonable evidence, I'd tend to believe a gay claim about someone like Putin is more about undermining him than about the truth.

    No idea what the RT cracks are about given that they tend to be more honest than See-BS, NBC-urgh, and ABCrap.

    I tend to like foreign news services because their propaganda interests aren't the same as domestic ones, but you can't just lap up what they say credulously. RT has been hamfisted about Syria (even if I agree we shouldn't get involved), loved OWS, and hamfisted about this law.

  • Killazontherun||

    Pooty almost certainly doesn't dislike fags given that he is widely rumored to like Gillespie's Kielbasa in his buns.

    Putin was a KGB operative. They are taught to compartmentalize even their sexual identity for the sake of the Motherland. If he didn't give up the butt in his years stationed in Berlin to Western elites hunting the clubs for some down low action he blew his boss to get out of doing it.

  • Calidissident||

    Stormfront is pro-Putin. Are they aware of Hitler's views on Slavs?

  • Calidissident||

    That first sentence should also be a question BTW

  • jesse.in.mb||

    Are they aware of Hitler's views on Slavs?

    Maybe it's like the hierarchy of the aggrieved: as long as he's fucking over Jews, he's taking care of their business and they can get around to hating him later.

  • Gladstone||

    Maybe it's like the hierarchy of the aggrieved: as long as he's fucking over Jews, he's taking care of their business and they can get around to hating him later.

    You mean like what RT is doing with libertarians?

  • jesse.in.mb||

    You mean like what RT is doing with libertarians?

    EXACTLY like what RT is doing with libertarians, or like libertarians think they are doing with RT.

  • Killazontherun||

    Twenty years from now we are going to be saying, 'they don't make supervillians like Putin anymore.'

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Didn't feminists in the UK try to do the same thing recently? An upsetting trend, definitely...

  • Redmanfms||

    Is it still a "trend" when shitheaded Eurotrash progs have been indulging in banning speech they don't like and using such laws to marginalize and persecute their opponents for decades?

  • Gladstone||

    More like centuries. Remember the Reign of Terror? It was carried out by the original Leftists.

  • MappRapp||

    Jack Frapp is all up in that man.

    www.AnonTactics.tk

  • SAL||

    It seems to me that America isn't much better than France in terms of online free speech, right?

  • pmains||

    Yeah ... at least you need the fig leaf of, "the accused made a threat," as opposed to, "the accused hurt the precious feelings of a protected victim group." I can see the justice of preventing people from making threats. I do not see the justice of precious snowflake legislation.

  • SAL||

    I think the teen in jail for months for doing a ridiculous online threat may have a different opinion.

  • anarch||

    A French gay rights groups said it will sue Twitter after the hashtag "gays must die" became the nation's most popular "trending" topic over the weekend.

    They should sue JS Bach first:

    "Mensch, du mußt sterben!" ("Man, you must die!")

    - Cantata 106

  • Robert||

    When did hashing change from otherwise-meaningless numbers, derived from some meaningful name by some protocol, into meaningful strings deliberately chosen?

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement