Twitter was sued for $50M by the Union of Jewish French Students (UJFS) after the social network refused to give out user data for anti-Semitic tweets.
The case goes back to October when Twitter saw several anti-Semitic French-language tweets, which were tied to the hashtag #unbonjuif (translated to “A good Jew”).
The tweets prompted the student union, as well as several other anti-racism groups, to ask Twitter to remove the tweets and the hashtag. The social network complied and deleted the tweets it deemed racist.
But it was not enough. UEJF also asked for more information about the users who were sending the anti-Semitic messages. The union sued Twitter in a civil case late last year that asked the identities of the users in France. This way, the union could prosecute them under France’s anti-hate speech laws. A French court ruled in January that the social network needed to comply with the demands.
Twitter responded to the ruling, saying, “we are currently reviewing the court’s decision.” The court gave the social network at 15-day deadline to either give up the names or file an appeal to the decision. But UEJF asserted that the social network didn’t follow the court’s demands.
Thus, the union sued Twitter for $50M for failing to comply. In their filing, UEJF President Jonathan Hayoun stated:
“Twitter is playing the indifference card and does not respect the ruling. They have resolved to protect the anonymity of the authors of these tweets and have made themselves accomplices to racists and anti-Semites.”
Twitter responded to the $50M lawsuit, saying that it followed the rules set by the court’s ruling and had no intention to delay in its filing. A spokesperson for the social network likened the lawsuit to “grandstanding” by the group and added that the company would be filing an appeal.
Do you think it is too much for the Union of Jewish French Students to sue Twitter for $50M, or are they justified in their actions?