Twitter appeals French court order to detail efforts against hate speech

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Twitter has appealed a French court decision that ordered it to give activists full access to all relevant documents related to the company’s efforts to fight hate speech, lawyers and a judicial source said on Saturday.

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 its presence in France.

The San Francisco-based company was given two months to comply with the ruling, which also said it must reveal how many moderators it employs in France to examine posts flagged as hateful as well as data on the posts they process.

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 group’s lawyers.

‘Long-term’ failures in blocking hate speech

The six anti-discrimination groups took 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.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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