French Activists To Sue Twitter Over #GaysMustDie

8.12.2013

By Andrew Belonsky

Twitter has cracked down on hate speech in France before. Will they again?

Something unsettling happened in France over the weekend: by coordinating their hashtags, homophobes there were able to make "#GaysMustDie" the number one trending topic on French twitter. They tried to do the same for "#TeamHomophobes" and "#LetsBurnGay." Both trended but failed to hit number one.

This "#GaysMustDie" stunt is a cheap internet parlor trick, but may become a huge lawsuit. The organizers from the pro-equality group International Day Against Homophobia now say they will sue Twitter for hateful Tweeters's identities. The "twitter mob," IDAHO says, violated France's hate speech laws, and the names need to be turned over to authorities.

"We support free expression, and we understand that there are some people who simply don't like gay people, but this is a call for the extermination of the gay community," IDAHO activist Alexander Marcel told United Press International. "Twitter hasn't deleted a single homophobic tweet, nor removed a single homophobic hashtag from its list of most popular trending terms."

No comment from Twitter yet, but it's worth noting the social media site did recently turn over to French authorities the names of users accused of sending anti-Semitic tweets. Will Twitter do the same here? Should they?

(Image via Philippe Leroyer's Flickr.)

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