France: gov't cracks down on racism, homophobia on Twitter

Antisemitic tweets; minister wants security procedures set up

28 December, 17:05

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(ANSAmed) - PARIS, DECEMBER 28 - The French government has declared war on the racism, anti-antisemitism and homophobia spreading on Twitter.

Twitter's French timeline has recently born witness to ever more disturbing hashtags, such as #SiMonFilsestGay (if my son were gay) and #SiMaFilleRaméneUnNoir (if my daughter brought a black man home) and #unBonJuif' (a good Jew), which has led to particularly shocking antisemitic tweets. The situation worries Francois Hollande's Socialist government, which now would like to begin consultations with the associations involved and Twitter executives. ''I hope that we can work together with the associations most closely involved to set up an alert and security system making it possible to prevent such regrettable episodes as those seen over the past few weeks from reoccurring,'' government spokesperson and Women's Rights Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem wrote today in the Le Monde paper. ''This work will start on January 7, 2013. I hope, in particular, that Twitter will be able to look into the conditions to set up mechanisms making it possible to counter violations involving incitement and insult,'' added Vallaud-Belkacem. The minister also underscored that these hate messages ''are morally reprehensible and illegal. The fact that they are published online does not make the person committing the crime any less accountable in legal terms.'' (ANSAmed).

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