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French court orders Twitter to reveal anti-hate speech efforts

In this file photo illustration, a Twitter logo is displayed on a mobile phone on May 27, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia. (Olivier DOULIERY / AFP)
In this file photo illustration, a Twitter logo is displayed on a mobile phone on May 27, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia. (Olivier DOULIERY / AFP)

A French court orders Twitter to give activists full access to all of its documents relating to its efforts to fight racism, sexism and other forms of hate speech on the social network.

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 on the site.

The Paris court ordered Twitter to grant the campaign groups full access within two months to all documents relating to the company’s efforts to combat hate speech since May 2020. The ruling applies to Twitter’s global operation, not just France.

The ruling was welcomed by the Union des étudiants juifs de France (“Union of French Jewish Students”), which was one of the six groups who took Twitter to court.

“Twitter will finally have to take responsibility, stop equivocating, and put ethics before profit and international expansion,” the UEJF said in a statement on its website.

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