The Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) and SOS-Racisme, on Sunday filed a lawsuit against the three social networks Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for failing to delete content deemed racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic or pro-terrorism, as required by French law, The Local reported.
The two groups cited a survey carried out between March 31 and May 10 by their own members together with a third association, SOS Homophobie.
In this “first mass test of social networks,” the three groups discovered 586 instances of content they deemed “racist, anti-Semitic, Holocaust denying, homophobic, or defending terrorism or crimes against humanity,” the two groups said in a joint statement.
Only a small percentage of these postings was deleted by the host network within a “reasonable time,” as required under a 2004 French law: 4% on Twitter, 7% on YouTube and 34% on Facebook.
“It’s a mystery whether the moderating teams in social media are actually working,” said UEJF president Sacha Reingewirtz,.
Dominique Sopo, head of SOS-Racisme, said the social media giants are being hypocritical: “These platforms seem more shocked about content with bare breasts, which is swiftly censored, than about incitement to hatred,” she said, adding, “Our legal step aims at getting the authorities to apply the law so that these organization submit to it in full.”
According to The Local, the suit has been filed under an article of the French legal code which requires a judge to issue a fast-track preliminary ruling in a complaint.