French court rules on hate tweets

Jan. 25, 2013 at 5:31 PM

PARIS, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- A French court says Twitter must identify the posters of racist and anti-Semitic tweets by alerting French authorities to "illegal content" on its French site.

The French-language twittersphere has seen a rash of racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic tweets for months and, while Twitter agreed to remove some offensive postings, the company resisted calls to release identifying information on the posters.

A French advocacy group, the Union of Jewish Students, took Twitter to court in attempt to force the issue.

"We're not able to identify the individuals, only Twitter can do so," Sacha Reingewirtz, the vice president of the student group, said.

On Thursday, the Grand Instance Court in Paris ordered Twitter to identify the authors of anti-Semitic tweets by creating a mechanism to alert French authorities of such postings "in a visible and easily-accessible [way]," CNN reported.

If Twitter doesn't comply within two weeks, the court said, the company would face fines of $1,336 per day.

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