French Jewish Student Union Joins Hate-speech Lawsuit Against Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

Earlier this week anti-racism and LGBT rights groups announced they would take legal action against social media sites for failing to remove racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic content.

A man wearing a skullcap at a demonstration in Lyon, France, 2014.
AFP

France’s Union of Jewish Students has joined two other French groups in suing Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for failing to remove anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic content.

SOS Racisme, France’s largest anti-racism group, and SOS Homophobie, a gay rights movement, announced Sunday in a statement that they were taking legal action against the three social media platforms, according to reports.

In a social media survey from March 31 to May 10, the groups said they found on those sites “586 examples of content that is racist, anti-Semitic or homophobic, denies the Holocaust or seeks to justify terrorism or crimes against humanity.”

Denying the Holocaust, justifying terrorism, and propagating racist, anti-Semitic or homophobic messages are illegal in France.

The survey found Twitter removed eight of the 205 “hate messages” flagged to administrators and YouTube took down 16 of 225 items, while Facebook removed 53 of 156 messages identified to the site by the groups, according to The Telegraph.

“In light of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook’s profits and how little taxes they pay, their refusal to invest in the fight against hate is unacceptable,” UEJF President Sacha Reingewirtz wrote in a blog post.