Civil Liberties

Twitter Relents to the French, Hands over User Data in Hate Speech Case


Twitter had been resisting demands by the French government to fork over user data so that they can track down people who tweeted anti-Semitic comments and charge them with violations of hate speech laws there.

They've finally given in. According to The Guardian:

Twitter has handed French authorities data which could identify the users behind a spate of antisemitic tweets after a long court battle begun by anti-racism campaigners.

In a rare move, the microblogging site announced on Friday that "in response to a valid legal request" it had provided the Paris prosecutor with "data that may enable the identification of certain users that the vice-prosecutor believes have violated French law". Twitter said this gesture put an end to the long legal dispute.

In October last year, there was outrage after numerous antisemitic comments were tweeted under the hashtags #UnBonJuif (a good Jew) and #UnJuifMort (a dead Jew). When alerted to the tweets, Twitter immediately removed them.

It's not clear if the absurd $50 million civil lawsuit against Twitter by the French Union of Jewish Students will continue on or be dropped now.

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