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French Jewish Students Taking Twitter to Court

By: JTA

France’s main Jewish student union reportedly has petitioned a Paris court to order Twitter to divulge details about users who post anti-Semitic comments.

Attorney Stephane Lilti, who represents the Union of French Jewish Students, or UEJF, told the French news agency AFP on Tuesday that a hearing is set for Jan. 8 in a Paris court.

In October, the UEJF asked Twitter to take down offending tweets that had flooded the site under the hashtag #unbonjuif (#agoodjew), with examples including: “#agoodjew is a dead Jew.” The hashtag became the third most popular in France. UEJF said it would sue if Twitter did not comply with demands to remove the tweets and disclose details about the users that posted them.

The decision to remove the messages came soon after Twitter shut down an account used by a German neo-Nazi group based in Hanover. The block was imposed at the request of German police. Facebook and YouTube have agreed to block the group’s accounts.

A Twitter spokesman refused at the time to comment directly on the tweets about Jews and reiterated the company’s standard response that it “does not mediate content.” According to the standards, Twitter cannot delete tweets, but does allow for accounts generating content in breach of its rules or considered illegal to be suspended.

Twitter also said it would not hand over details of account holders unless ordered by a judge.

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