Twitter ordered to reveal hate tweeters

A French appeal court has rejected a bid by Twitter to withhold details of users accused of posting antisemitic messages.

The company was ordered to hand over the data after France's Union of Jewish Students and four human rights groups filed a complaint against Twitter over a wave of antisemitic hashtags and messages that appeared on the site in October 2012.

Twitter deleted some of the racist tweets, but appealed a lower court order to disclose the identities of the users who wrote them.

The appeals court found that Twitter had not provided sufficient justification for keeping back the names, and ordered the company to comply with the ruling, according to web magazine The Verge.

French government spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said in a statement: "We have made important progress with Twitter since December. Anti-discrimination organisations can intervene to stop the avalanche of hate speech that regularly floods the internet, but the illegal messages posted on Twitter remain no less illegal, and adhering to French law is not optional."

A Twitter spokesperson told The Verge that the company may contest the decision at a later date.

Last updated: 10:08am, June 14 2013