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ANTI-SEMITISM

New French anti-Semitic posts on Twitter

France's Union of Jewish Students (UEJF), which last week forced Twitter to remove anti-Semitic posts under threat of legal action, said on Monday it wanted the micro-blogging site to take off a new volley of hate messages.

New French anti-Semitic posts on Twitter
Photo: Spencer E Holtaway

The UEJF on Friday said that Twitter had agreed to take down many offending tweets that have recently flooded the site.

They bore the hashtag #unbonjuif (#AGoodJew), frequently followed by comments such as: "#AGoodJew is a dead Jew".

But UEJF lawyer Stephane Lilti told AFP Monday that 50 new messages were sighted over the weekend using a new keyword #unjuifmort (A Dead Jew).

"We are giving a few days for these tweets that we have drawn attention to to be taken off," Lilli said.

France's SPCJ Jewish security watchdog said two weeks ago that anti-Semitic acts surged by 45 percent since the start of the year and were given fresh impetus by attacks by Islamic extremist Mohamed Merah.

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

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DISCRIMINATION

Twitter appeals French court ruling on hate speech transparency

Twitter has appealed a French court decision that ordered it to give activists full access to all of its relevant documents on efforts to fight hate speech, lawyers and a judicial source said on Saturday.

Twitter appeals French court ruling on hate speech transparency
The Twitter logo is seen on a phone. Twitter has appealed a French court judgement requiring it to share documents with activist groups. Photo: Alastair Pike / AFP

In July, a French court ordered Twitter to grant six French anti-discrimination groups full access to all documents relating to the
company’s efforts to combat hate speech since May 2020. The ruling applied to Twitter’s global operation, not just France.

Twitter has appealed the decision and a hearing has been set for December 9, 2021, a judicial source told AFP, confirming information released by the groups’ lawyers.

Twitter and its lawyers declined to comment.

The July order said that Twitter must hand over “all administrative, contractual, technical or commercial documents” detailing the resources it has assigned to fight homophobic, racist and sexist discourse on the site, as well as the offence of “condoning crimes against humanity”.

It also said Twitter must reveal how many moderators it employs in France to examine posts flagged as hateful, and data on the posts they process.

READ ALSO: French court orders Twitter to change smallprint over ‘abusive’ methods

The July ruling gave the San Francisco-based company two months to comply. Twitter can ask for a suspension pending the appeal.

The six anti-discrimination groups had taken Twitter to court in France last year, accusing the US social media giant of “long-term and persistent” failures in blocking hateful comments from the site.

The groups campaign against homophobia, racism and anti-Semitism. Twitter’s hateful conduct policy bans users from promoting violence or threatening or attacking people based on their race, religion, gender identity or disability, among other forms of discrimination.

Like other social media giants it allows users to report posts they believe are hateful, and employs moderators to vet the content.

But anti-discrimination groups have long complained that holes in the policy allow hateful comments to stay online in many cases.

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