Do you think your identity is private on Twitter? That’s up for debate. Last fall, Twitter was asked by the Union of Jewish French Students to remove anti-Semitic tweets that contained the hashtag #unbonjuif (“a good Jew”). The company complied, but UEJF doubled down, filing a lawsuit demanding that Twitter reveal the identities of everyone involved in the hate speech. The student group won the lawsuit in January, giving Twitter 15 days to comply or file an appeal.
Now CNET is reporting that, since Twitter has failed to release the identities of the users, the EUJF is suing the micro-blogging company for $50M. According to the group, Twitter is “playing the indifference card” and are therefore “accomplices to racists and anti-Semites.” Twitter is fighting back, however.
The company says that they have been following the rules and that the UEJF is at fault for an intentional delay in processing the decision. They also took a shot at the group, stating, “As yesterday's new filing shows, they are sadly more interested in grandstanding than taking the proper international legal path for this data.”
The question of anonymity is one that comes up frequently. Should everything we do on the Internet be tied back to us? Or should we have an expectation of privacy when communicating online?