Daily Mail – Twitter has agreed to hand over the details of people who post racist and anti-Semitic abuse anonymously on the micro-blogging site, it emerged today. Following a long legal battle, the US-based company said it would cooperate with authorities in France who want to bring alleged criminals to justice.
The breakthrough is a significant test case for the millions who use social media to express hatred and anger without revealing their identities.
Prosecutors in Paris argued that Twitter had a duty to expose wrong-doers, despite its insistence that people had a right to anonymity. In October 2012, Jewish student bodies asked Twitter to remove a number of messages which appeared under the hashtag #unbonjuif (#agoodjew), with some users posting examples such as: ‘#agoodjew is a dead Jew.’
The Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) and three other similar groups took Twitter to court asking them to hand over the names of all those responsible so they can be prosecuted. “Because it does not take the necessary measures to identify where the tweets come from, Twitter is offering a platform to racism and anti-Semitism,” said Jonathan Hayoun, the UEJF president.