French Jewish students take legal action against Twitter

March 21, 2013
Jonathan Hayoun, president of the Union of Jewish Students in France, arrives at the Interior ministry on June 5, 2012 in Paris. A Jewish student group has announced it was taking further legal action against Twitter over the global networking site's failure to respond to a French court order to hand over data to help identify the authors of anti-Semitic tweets.

A Jewish student group has announced it was taking further legal action against Twitter over the global networking site's failure to respond to a French court order to hand over data to help identify the authors of anti-Semitic tweets.

" is playing the indifference card in not respecting the decision of January 24," when a Paris civil court gave the company two weeks to hand over the requested information, said Jonathan Hayoun, president of France's Union of Jewish Students (UEJF), on Wednesday.

"In protecting the anonymity of the author of these it is making itself an accomplice and offering a highway for racists and anti-Semites," he added.

The French Jewish students group said it was taking against Twitter and its CEO Dick Costolo.

The association is claiming 38.5 million euros ($50 million) in damages which they would hand over to the Shoah Memorial fund, according to the text of the summons for Twitter to appear before the 's criminal division.

UEJF lawyer Stephane Lilti said the group had filed the summons on Wednesday.

Questioned by AFP, Twitter said it was in discussions with the Jewish student group but that "unfortunately they are more interested in these grand gestures than in finding an adequate international procedure to obtain the requested information."

"We will appeal tomorrow (Thursday)" to the French court, Twitter said in reference to the January 24 decision.

It added that the French court had only notified it of the earlier ruling "a few days ago."

On Sunday French President Hollande called for the names of the authors of the anti-Semitic tweets to be released, in line with the court's decision.

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.

Last 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.

Explore further: Twitter widens window to links in tweets

Related Stories

Twitter files appeal in Occupy Wall Street case

August 27, 2012

Twitter on Monday filed an appeal of a court order to turn over tweets from one of its users being prosecuted over Occupy Wall Street protests, in a case being watched for free-speech implications.

After lawsuit threat, Twitter to pull racist posts

October 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, the organization ...

French Jewish body takes Twitter to court

November 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.

France launches Twitter probe in racism test case

November 28, 2012

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.

Recommended for you

Team develops targeted drug delivery to lung

September 2, 2015

Researchers from Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have developed a new method that can target delivery of very small volumes of drugs into the lung. Their approach, in which micro-liters ...

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

2.8 / 5 (11) Mar 21, 2013
Yet more evidence zionists don't respect freedom of speech, unless it's praising zionists. If the facts are anti-semitic or put the Rothschilds/Bank of England in a bad light, they want the facts quashed
3.3 / 5 (6) Mar 21, 2013
Instead of occupying the moral high ground he is making the anti-semites into the real victims. This move doesnt make sense from ethical or PR perspective..
1.8 / 5 (6) Mar 21, 2013
@kochevnik If you could put aside your hate filled ignorance for a minute or so, you'd notice that the student group is looking to 'out' the author(s) of the tweets, not ban them. If the authors are so sure of their position, they'd be happy to come out from behind a hashtag.
3 / 5 (2) Mar 21, 2013
@bertibus Right, like they are going to say just hello? I think that this will create a really bad precedence when succeeded. What about Chinese court asking for details about people critical about Chinas politics? I think that this is illegal in China too.

2.3 / 5 (6) Mar 21, 2013
@bertibus If you could put aside your hate filled ignorance for a minute or so, you'd notice that Russia has suffered out of your bolshevik revolution and NKVD secret police which was 95% zionist. Now we have problems with your USA puppet state instigating insurrection in Syria on behalf of right wing labor zionist fanatics. Russia will not tolerate being exposed directly to your NATO blockade. It will not end well. Jews are not a special group. The Tazmanians were actually wiped out of existance by Australia. But they don't have an opportunity to control the press because they are all dead

Why don't you find a more productive way of connecting with your Jewish roots than looking for anti-semites under every rock? It doesn't make you more Jewish. It just makes you a whiny jerk. The anti-defamation league was formed to look for anti-semites in the USA and cannot find even ONE anti-semite. Get a new hobby

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.