Twitter Sued For $50 Million Over Anti-Semitic Tweets

We told you about Twitter’s refusal to identity the account holders behind a series of anti-Semitic tweets and then a French Court ordering Twitter to comply . . . and now Twitter is getting sued for holding out.

But those on the other side of this lawsuit shouldn’t start counting their money yet, because in true Twitter form, the scrappy little blue bird is coming out swinging.

To quickly recap: This all started in October of 2012 when horrible people were tweeting horrible things attached to the #unbonjuif (a good Jew) hashtag. The Union of Jewish French Students (UEJF) asked Twitter to tell them who sent the tweets. Twitter said “not without a warrant and such.”

The French Court came back and said “here’s your warrant, hand ’em over already” because Holocaust denial and hate speech is a crime in France and the folks responsible for those tweets are apparently guilty.

And now, according to CNet, the UEJF filed a $50 million lawsuit against the social network yesterday.

In its blog post on the lawsuit, the UEJF students express frustration, citing Twitter’s “indifference:”

The social network has never publicly responded to the decision of the Paris Court which sentenced him to pay 1,000 euros per day of delay in the execution of its decision.

Twitter (basically) holds this lawsuit in contempt though, not the proceeding itself. 

For its part, Twitter said that it has followed the rules and had no intention to delay in its filing.

“We’ve been in continual discussions with UEJF,” a Twitter spokesperson told CNET. “As yesterday’s new filing shows, they are sadly more interested in grandstanding than taking the proper international legal path for this data. We are filing our appeal today, and would have filed it sooner if not for UEJF’s intentional delay in processing the court’s decision.”

The UEJF also faults Twitter for its “refusal to implement a platform for users to report illegal post[s], as [users] can [on] other social networks.”

This IS a valid concern to raise as one can report an account for abuse (as a spammer) but that option does not exsit for individual tweets. And taking a screenshot isn’t the best evidence anymore either.

We’ll keep you posted as more news develops.

(Lawsuit image from Shutterstock)