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French Court Orders Twitter To Reveal Identities Of Racist Users

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File photo of the screen of a blackberry phone featuring a page with the adress of the micro-blogging site Twitter website. (Photo by FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images)

(FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS San Francisco) – A court in France decided that managers at the social networking site Twitter must disclose any data they may have regarding racist or anti-Semitic users.

The San Francisco-based microblogging outfit was given the order on Thursday, after considering a formally filed legal complaint made by the Union of Jewish Students in the western European country.

After noticing a number of tweets that were in violation of French laws against inciting racial hatred, the union brought the matter to a Parisian court, according to AFP.

The posts were reportedly found after a barrage of tweets using the hashtag #unbonjuif – which translates to #agoodjew – appeared on the site, followed by culturally insensitive messages about people of the Jewish faith.

Some of those tweets were subsequently removed by officials at Twitter. But following the court’s ruling, Twitter must now disclose the identity of the tweets’ authors as well.

According to French attorney and Internet law expert Merav Griguer, European laws regarding freedom of speech allow for more government regulation than existing laws in the United States.

“In France, one’s freedom ends where another person’s freedom begins,” he was quoted as saying to the Times of Israel. “French law does not promote censorship, but instead bars abuses of free speech to protect other fundamental rights.”

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