PARIS (EJP) --- The Union of Jewish students in France (UEJF) took social networking site Twitter to court over demands it reveal the identities of its users who have tweeted anti-Semitic messages.
A fact-finding hearing was held Tuesday at the Grand Tribunal of Paris as part of the ongoing case between the UEJF, the US-based social network and its French subsidiary company.
In a statement, the UEJF described itself “shocked that the hateful hashtag #IfIwasaNazi was among the three most discussed subjects Saturday, January 5”.
For UEJF, “Twitter is not always realizing the level of racism and anti-Semitism in France”.
UEJF expressed hopes that a “telephone conference” scheduled for this week between Twitter vice president Colin Crowell, who’s responsible for the US company’s public policy, and French Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem “could mark a new turning point in the fight to curb the rise of internet racism and anti-Semitism”.
UEJF brought this action before the Paris court to help “establish an easy-to-use facility so that anyone could inform the network of any illegal content constituting incitement to racial hatred”.
“By refusing to operate such a device, Twitter facilitates racist and anti-Semitic abuse. As one of the key discussion topics of the day, the hashtag #IfIwereaNazi is promoted by Twitter. Twitter has once again shown itself to be a place where safeguards against hatred seem to have disappeared and where those who propagate such rhetoric feel impunity,” said UEJF President Jonathan Hayoun.
Last October, following a stream of anti-Semitic messages under the #AgoodJew hashtag, UEJF took steps to get Twitter to remove the offending tweets. A few days later, the UEJF claimed to have reached an agreement with the social network which involved accepting “its claims to have withdrawn the tweets”.