Twitter must police tweets - court

2013-01-24 18:00
Twitter has blocked an account in a country for the first time.

Twitter has blocked an account in a country for the first time. (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - A French court ruled Thursday that Twitter, which has steadfastly refused calls to police its millions of users, must hand over data to help identify the authors of racist or anti-Semitic tweets.

In a test case that pitted the right to free speech against laws banning hate speech, the court granted a request lodged in October by France's Union of Jewish Students (UEJF) which argued that many tweets had breached French law.

The union had been pressing Twitter to exercise tighter control of what appeared on its Internet site following a deluge of anti-Semitic messages posted under the hashtag #unbonjuif (#agoodjew).

Twitter later removed some of the offending tweets.

The UEJF took legal action aimed at forcing Twitter to identify the authors of some of the posts.

The court in Paris on Thursday ruled that the site must do this "within the framework of its French site".

In October, Twitter suspended the account of a neo-Nazi group in Germany following a request from the government in Berlin.

That was the first time that the US firm had applied a policy known as "country-withheld content" which allows it to block an account at the request of state authorities.

Twitter, which last month said the number of active users of the service had topped 200 million, said it deployed the tool developed only last year to restrict content in a single country rather than simply delete posted comments.

Hateful ideology

German politicians welcomed the step to stop distributing the far-right Besseres Hannover group's "hateful ideology", adding that social media sites including Facebook and YouTube had also complied with the request.

The legal suit in France came a week after France's SPCJ Jewish security watchdog said anti-Semitic acts surged by 45% since the start of the year and were given new impetus by attacks by Islamic extremist Mohamed Merah.

Merah went on a shooting rampage in March in and around the city of Toulouse, killing a rabbi, three Jewish children and three French paratroopers before being shot dead in a police siege.

Twitter was forced to apologise in July for suspending the account of a British journalist in an incident which prompted accusations it favoured its commercial ties with Olympics broadcaster NBC over media freedoms.

The move came after an outcry over the suspension of Guy Adams, Los Angeles correspondent for The Independent, who had tweeted his outrage over NBC's delay in broadcasting the opening ceremony in order to catch the prime-time audience.

The case did not stem from an official request to block an account.

British police have also investigated messages published on the Twitter account of British National Party chief Nick Griffin who tweeted the address of a gay couple who won a landmark court ruling on discrimination, ending with message: "Say no to heterophobia!"


Read more on:    twitter  |  france  |  social networks
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Food
 

The most extreme journey ever?

One man is sailing around the world in a beach cat - no cabin to sleep in and no GPS.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!
Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to focus too intently on outer appearance and beauty which hides who you really are. You are being challenged...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.