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Jewish group sues Twitter in France again over anti-Semitism

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(JTA) — A French Jewish group that sued Twitter for hosting anti-Semitic content lodged a fresh complaint against the social networking service.

The latest complaint by the Union of Jewish Students of France, or UEJF, was filed on April 12 with the Paris Public Prosecutor’s office against Twitter CEO Dick Costolo. UEJF and another group, J’ACCUSE, said in the complaint that Costolo was “responsible for racial defamation and publicly inciting to discrimination, hate or violence toward Jews.”

The complaint concerns tweets that call for killing Jews and praising the Holocaust.

UEJF last month sued Twitter for $50 million after the California-based company failed to honor a ruling in January by a French judge ordering it to divulge within 14 days details of users who posted anti-Semitic statements.

France and other European countries have laws against hate speech that are considerably stricter than in the United States.

In its ruling, the Paris court also ordered Twitter to set up a system for flagging and removing such messages, but UEJF said Twitter has not complied.

Additionally, UEJF accused Twitter of lying when it reportedly announced last October that it would remove similar tweets. The tweets are still available to users who do not self-identify as being French, UEJF said.

Despite the tweets still being available, Le Nouvel Observateur reported in October that Twitter said it had removed the tweets, which had spurred public condemnation.

The phrase #UnBonJuif (meaning “AGoodJew”) became the third most popular hashtag on French Twitter due to what Le Monde termed “a competition of anti-Semitic jokes” that evolved around it. 

Twitter did not respond to JTA’s request for comment on the latest UEJF complaint.

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