For months now, the French-language twittersphere has lit up with a rash of racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic tweets using the hashtags #UnBonJuif (a good Jew), #SiMonFilsEstGay (if my son is gay), and #SiMaFilleRamèneUnNoir (if my daughter brings home a black guy).
Last fall, under pressure from French advocacy group Union of Jewish Students (UEJF), Twitter agreedto remove some offensive tweets. In October 2012, at Berlin’s request, Twitter also suspendeda German neo-Nazi account based in the city of Hanover, the first time the company had responded to such a government request.
However, at the time, the UEJF also wanted identifying information of the perpetrators, which Twitter was not prepared to give up. So the group went to court to force the issue.
On Thursday, the Grand Instance Court in Paris ordered Twitter to identify the authors of anti-semitic tweets by creating a mechanism (Google Translate) to alert French authorities to “illegal content,” on its French site “in a visible and easily-accessible [way].”