BERLIN – Twitter was hit by a lawsuit in Germany by an anti-hate speech organisation and a European group of Jewish students in a bid to force the platform to remove anti-Semitic content.
HateAid and the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) filed the suit against Twitter to require the platform to clarify its basic obligations when moderating criminal content.
The suit, filed in a Berlin court, refers to six anti-Semitic posts that were not deleted despite being reported.
In one example, the claimants argue, a report of a post denying the Holocaust was explicitly rejected. In Germany, holocaust denial is a criminal offence.
“What starts online doesn’t end online,” said Ms Avital Grinberg, president of the EUJS. “Twitter broke our trust. By allowing the distribution of hateful content, the company fails to protect users and especially young Jews.”
By filing this lawsuit, HateAid and EUJS said they are seeking to establish whether Twitter users have a legal right to enforce the company’s terms and conditions. They argue that this would allow users to sue for the removal of inflammatory content in future cases.
In the announcement, the civil rights groups refer to a 2021 report by the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, that says Twitter acted on 11 per cent of 137 reported cases of anti-Semitism on the platform. BLOOMBERG