French court orders Twitter to provide names of racist, anti-Semitic users

The hashtag #agoodjew, usually accompanied by an anti-Semitic remark, is now the third most popular in France.

A French court has ordered Twitter to hand over the identities of users who tweet racist and anti-Semitic messages to the police, according to U.K. newspaper Daily Mail.

In its ruling, the Tribunal de Grande Instance stated it was illegal for people to post hateful material anonymously, the newspaper reported.

The case was brought by France's Union of Jewish Students and several similar groups, who said Twitter should release the names of those who tweet anti-Semitic comments.

In October 2012, the students asked Twitter to delete messages using the hashtag #unbonjuif (#agoodjew) that contained messages such as “#agoodjew is a dead Jew.”

The case, the report said, has led to even more anti-Semitic tweets, and now the hashtag #agoodjew is the third most popular in France.

The students wanted Twitter to hand over the names so they could be prosecuted under French law, which prohibits inciting racial hatred, according to the report.

Whether Twitter complies with the French court is still in question, however, as the data is collected and stored in the United States where the company is based. According to the Washington Post, Twitter has no personnel or offices in France.

Last year, Twitter did shut down an account run by a German neo-Nazi group based in Hanover following a request by German police.


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