Since we are on the legal kick this morning regarding what major Internet companies face when it comes to their service and the perceived lega; rights of their users an update in a case that Twitter is involved in in France is interesting.
The Verge sums up the situation well here.
Twitter has failed to reveal the authors of anti-Semitic tweets after a French court mandated the company do so, reports the AFP. The January court ruling required that Twitter hand over user data to help identify hate speech authors who live under the jurisdiction of French laws. The suit was originally filed by France’s Union of Jewish Students (UEJF), and the UEJF has now announced that it is taking further legal action against Twitter for claims that it has not complied with court orders.
Twitter has removed some of the anti-Semitic tweets but not all that are at issue. The UEJF doesn’t feel that they have gone far enough and that Twitter is essentially leaving the door open for hate speech. Twitter has responded to The Verge with the following which doesn’t paint their opposition in the greatest light.
“We’ve been in continual discussions with UEJF. They are sadly more interested in grandstanding than taking the proper international legal path for this data. We have filed our appeal, and would have filed it sooner if not for UEJF’s intentional delay in processing the court’s decision.”
In the end this is not about what the tweets said or even the people who said it, it’s about people’s right to say what they want no matter how offensive those thoughts may be. Should Twitter be the moral and ethical speech cops of the world? Personally, I don’t think so.
Hate speech sucks, that’s the easy thing to recognize and agree with in any matter. The trouble is that in order for everyone to be able to say what they want there is going to be plenty of the good, the bad and the truly ugly.
Do you think we could, or should be trying to, legislate morality in the online space or should we exercise our option to ignore it and let it die with the narrow minded few who spew it?
What’s your take?