France launches Twitter probe in racism test case

Nov 28, 2012
A Blackberry user in Quimper, France, clicks on the icon for the Twitter microblogging site. French police have opened a criminal investigation into a raft of anti-Semitic messages posted on Twitter in a case that could test the microblogging site's refusal to mediate content.

French police have opened a criminal investigation into a raft of anti-Semitic messages posted on Twitter in a case that could test the microblogging site's refusal to mediate content.

The move follows a complaint lodged last month by an anti- organisation that numerous messages posted on the site had breached French law prohibiting incitement to racial hatred.

The police probe, which is still in a preliminary phase, will focus on one specific message with a view to pressing charges punishable by up to a year in prison, judicial sources said.

France's Union of Jewish Students (UEJF) has been pressing to exercise tighter control of what appears on its site following a wave of anti-Semitic messages posted under the hashtag #unbonjuif (#agoodjew).

Examples included "#agoodjew is a dead Jew" and other offensive were subsequently posted under #unjuifmort (#adeadjew).

The UEJF on Tuesday began a legal action aimed at forcing Twitter to identify the authors of some of the posts. A hearing on the application has been scheduled for January 8.

Twitter has refused to comment on the row, re-directing enquiries to its terms of service which state that it does not mediate content but may suspend accounts deemed to be producing .

In October, the site suspended the account of a neo-Nazi group in Germany following a request from the govermment in Berlin. It was the first time Twitter had acted on a request of that nature from a government.

Explore further: Lions Gate partners with online outfit RocketJump

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

French Jewish body takes Twitter to court

Nov 27, 2012

France's main Jewish students union (UEJF) has started legal action against Twitter to force the site to reveal details on people who posted a slew of anti-Semitic hate messages, its lawyer said Tuesday.

After lawsuit threat, Twitter to pull racist posts

Oct 19, 2012

(AP)—Twitter agreed to pull racist and anti-Semitic tweets under a pair of French hash tags after a Jewish group threatened to sue the social network for running afoul of national laws against hate speech, ...

Twitter passwords bared online

May 09, 2012

Twitter said that it was trying to figure out how user names and passwords from thousands of accounts apparently wound up posted at an online file sharing website.

Twitter clocks half-billion users: monitor

Jul 30, 2012

Over 500 million people are on micro-blogging site Twitter and Americans and Brazilians are the most connected, according to a study by social media monitor Semiocast released Monday.

Twitter shuts out German neo-Nazi group's account

Oct 18, 2012

(AP)—Twitter has for the first time blocked an account using a new tool that allows it to bar content in individual countries, shutting out a banned German neo-Nazi group at the behest of local authorities.

French police arrest alleged Twitter hacker

Mar 24, 2010

(AP) -- French police say they have detained a 25-year-old who allegedly hacked Twitter accounts of numerous well-known figures, including Britney Spears and President Barack Obama.

Recommended for you

Instagram photo-sharing service goes down

Apr 12, 2014

Popular photo-sharing site Instagram was not working Saturday, as frustrated users quickly turned to social network Twitter and other web sites to share their complaints.

Authors Guild asks US court to rule against Google

Apr 11, 2014

The Authors Guild says that Google Inc. is stealing business from retailers and has asked a New York federal appeals court to find that the Internet giant is violating copyright laws with its massive book digitization project.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

Astronomers: 'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, ...