Twitter loses online hate speech court battle in France

Paris — Twitter needs to disclose details about what it does to tackle hate speech online in France. The Paris Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, victorious advocates who claimed that social networks were inadequate.

This decision will provide ammunition to campaign participants elsewhere in Europe who want tighter control to prevent the spread of racist and discriminatory content on Twitter and other social media platforms. ..

Last year, we upheld a lower court ruling that ordered Twitter to provide details on the number, nationality, location, and spoken language of people hiring to moderate content on the French version of the platform.

The lower court ruling also required that Twitter disclose contract, management, commercial, and technical documentation to help determine the financial and human resources it has deployed to combat hate speech in France. ..

The Court of Appeals fully confirmed the initial ruling, stating that Twitter should pay € 1,500 ($ 1,700) in damages to each of the six plaintiffs, a copy of the ruling seen by Reuters shows. rice field.

A Twitter spokeswoman added that the company’s top priority is to ensure the safety of people using the platform, and the group is considering a court decision. US companies refused to comment on the financial and operational implications of the ruling.

However, the campaign participants were delighted. Six lobby groups who sued Twitter alleged that a small portion of the offensive message was removed from the platform 48 hours after the signal was sent.


“I’m sick of this rule, where everything is allowed and” banned “,” said Mark Knobel, president of J’Accuse. (I blame), one group mentions the famous slogan that spread to the walls of Paris during the 1968 protest.

“We must stay in this delusion. Everything should not be forgiven in our society.”

This ruling sets France apart from countries such as Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States. The country’s strict anti-racism laws have confirmed the success of such proceedings.

In France, racism and anti-Semitism are considered violations, not publicly held opinions.

Global tech giants have been accused of being too few to deal with online abuse. The upcoming EU regulation, the Digital Services Act (DSA), will provide steps to remove illegal content, such as malicious language, more quickly.

Last May, the UK said that up to 10% of sales or £ 18 million ($ 25 million) in sales if social media companies were unable to eradicate online abuse such as racist hate crimes under a new planned law. He said he would be fined. ..

($ 1 = 0.8821 euro)

Matthew Rosemain