Twitter Gives France Identities of Users Who Posted Anti-Semitic Tweets

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo was named in a $50 million lawsuit against the company by France's Jewish Student Union.

Ending a $50 million legal battle with the country's Jewish Student Union, the social network has agreed to supply authorities with user data in accordance with French hate-speech laws.

PARIS -- Twitter announced Friday that it is providing French authorities with the identifying information of users who posted anti-Semitic tweets.

In accordance with French law, Twitter, which is based in California, said that it had turned over data "enabling the identification of some authors" of the offending tweets, who may now be prosecuted under France's strict anti-hate speech laws.

The social network also said the action would put an end to the legal battle with France's Jewish Student Union (UEJF) and that they would continue to "work actively together in order to fight racism and anti-Semitism."

STORY: Twitter Faces Criminal Complaint Over Hate-Speech Hashtags in France

Following a series of anti-Semitic tweets under the hashtags #agoodjew and #adeadjew last fall, UEJF filed a criminal complaint requesting Twitter reveal the identities of those behind the tweets for investigation and possible prosecution. The company removed some of the offending messages from France-based users that were considered illegal under the hate speech laws but maintained that its data was stored on U.S.-based servers, so it would not hand over identifying information unless ordered to do so by a U.S. court.

In January, the Paris court ordered Twitter to reveal the information, and in March, the appeals court upheld that decision and ruled that the social network could not withhold users' identities. The UEJF also filed a civil suit to the tune of $50 million against the microblogging site, arguing that Twitter had failed to respect the 15-day time frame to reveal the information imposed by the criminal court in January. The group said that it would give any civil award to the Shoah Foundation.