Twitter Appeals French Court Ruling on Anti-Hate Speech
Twitter has appealed a French court decision that ordered it to give activists full access to all of its relevant documents on efforts to fight hate speech, lawyers and a judicial source said on Saturday.
In July, a French court ordered Twitter to grant six French anti-discrimination groups full access to all documents relating to the company’s efforts to combat hate speech since May 2020. The ruling applied to Twitter’s global operation, not just France.
Twitter has appealed the decision and a hearing has been set for December 9, 2021, a judicial source told AFP, confirming information released by the groups’ lawyers.
Twitter and its lawyers declined to comment.
The July order said that Twitter must hand over “all administrative, contractual, technical or commercial documents” detailing the resources it has assigned to fight homophobic, racist and sexist discourse on the site, as well as the offense of “condoning crimes against humanity”.
It also said Twitter must reveal how many moderators it employs in France to examine posts flagged as hateful, and data on the posts they process.
The July ruling gave the San Francisco-based company two months to comply. Twitter can ask for a suspension pending the appeal.
The six anti-discrimination groups had taken Twitter to court in France last year, accusing the US social media giant of “long-term and persistent” failures in blocking hateful comments from the site.
The groups campaign against homophobia, racism and anti-Semitism.
Twitter’s hateful conduct policy bans users from promoting violence or threatening or attacking people based on their race, religion, gender identity or disability, among other forms of discrimination.
Like other social media giants, it allows users to report posts they believe are hateful, and employs moderators to vet the content.
But anti-discrimination groups have long complained that holes in the policy allow hateful comments to stay online in many cases.