Twitter loses traction in France’s hate speech case

Reuters.- Twitter should reveal details about what it is doing to combat online hate speech in France, Paris’ appeals court ruled on Thursday, awarding the groups victory who accuse social networks of not doing enough to combat hateful content.

The ruling supports a lower court ruling ordering Twitter to provide details on the number, nationality, location and language used by the people it employs to moderate content on the French version of the platform.

The appeals court said that it upheld the first ruling in its entirety and that Twitter must pay 1,500 euros ($1,700) in damages to each of the six plaintiffs, according to a copy of the ruling seen by Reuters.

The court’s decision also includes an obligation for Twitter to disclose all contractual, administrative, commercial and technical documents that help determine financial and humane means that have been put in place to combat online hate speech in France.

“Our top priority is ensuring the safety of the people who use our platform,” a Twitter spokesperson said in response to a request for comment.

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Ilana Soskin, lawyer for one of the plaintiffs, activist group J’Accuse! (I accuse!), he said that Twitter “cannot defy French law and make fun of the whole world.”

“You have to comply,” he told Reuters.

Tech companies have been accused of doing too little to tackle online abuse.

Last May, the UK announced a future law that would enforce social media companies fines of up to 10% of your turnover or 18 million pounds ($25 million) if they don’t crack down on online offenses like racist hate crimes, while senior managers could face criminal prosecution.

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Matt Thompson

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