Twitter removed a surge of anti-Semitic and racist tweets in France, which were labeled with the hashtag #UnBonJuif (#AGoodJew).
The phrase UnBonJuif was also one of the most popular among French-speaking users of the microblogging site last week, mostly in connection with offensive comments
The Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) threatened to take the issue to court, unless Twitter took action. They allegedly sent the online social networking site a list of the exact tweets they wanted to be removed.
Along with the anti-Semitic tweets, Twitter has responded to requests to block or remove content in the past, blocking a Neo-Nazi account in Germany last week. The group’s tweets were blocked using a feature called “Country Withheld Content,” which was introduced in 2012.
Essentially, the feature will block the tweets in Germany, though the rest of the world will still be able to see them. The request was made by the German police.
The #UnBonJuif tweets were removed after Twitter’s senior management met with the UEJF president Jonathan Hayoun, as well as the group’s legal representatives.
Stephane Lilty, lawyer for the student body, stated that the group scored an “important victory” over Twitter regarding the issue. Twitter has yet to issue an official comment on the matter.
UEJF has also asked that Twitter reveal the names of those who were abusing the #UnBonJuif hashtag. Jewish groups in France have noticed an increasing number of anti-Semitic tweets and other episodes ever since Mohammed Merah, a French Muslim who claimed to be with Al Qaeda, murdered seven people in Toulous, France in March.
Four of those killed by Merah were Jewish. Hayoun stated of the incident on Twitter, “We salute the decision of Twitter to respond to our request and promptly remove racist and anti-Semitic tweets.”
The union still intends to file a complaint against the microblogging site, because they have refused to release the names of those responsible for the anti-Semitic #UnBonJuin tweets.