Twitter in France

A court in France decided in January 2013 that managers from the website Twitter must disclose any data or information that they may have regarding racist or anti-Semitic users.

The micro blogging website from San Francisco was given the order on Thursday, after considering a formally filed legal complaint made by the Union of Jewish Students in the western European country.

After noticing a number of tweets that were in violation of French laws against inciting racial hatred, the union brought the matter to a Parisian court, according to AFP.

The posts were reportedly found after a barrage of tweets using the hashtag #unbonjuif – which translates to #agoodjew – appeared on the site, followed by culturally insensitive messages about people of the Jewish faith.

Some of those tweets were subsequently removed by officials at Twitter. But following the court’s ruling, Twitter must now disclose the identity of the tweets’ authors as well.

According to French attorney and Internet law expert Merav Griguer, European laws regarding freedom of speech allow for more government regulation than existing laws in the United States.

“In France, one’s freedom ends where another person’s freedom begins,” he was quoted as saying to the Times of Israel. “French law does not promote censorship, but instead bars abuses of free speech to protect other fundamental rights.”

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