Three victims of terrorism, targets of online harassment, are suing Twitter in France, held responsible for the dismissal of their complaints, because the social network has not responded to legal requests to identify their harassers, he said. we learned on Wednesday, confirming information from the newspaper Le Monde.
This summons, for “refusal to comply with a request from a judicial authority” and “complicity in offenses of public insult”, was sent to Twitter by a survivor of the terrorist attack against the Parisian performance hall of the Bataclan, Aurelia Gilbert, the father of a victim of the attack, Georges Salines, and by the former journalist Nicolas Hénin, hostage in 2013 from the Islamic State (IS) group.
In August 2020 for the first two and during the summer of 2019 for Mr. Hénin, they were targeted by a wave of harassment after having taken a position in favor of the repatriation of the children of French jihadists detained in Syria.
“I think we have to spend all the assholes of collaborators by arms”, replied an account under a pseudonym to Mr. Salines.
Ms. Gilbert’s account had been hacked after a first series of insulting tweets – Too bad they missed it ”-. The hacker posted messages on his behalf such as: “My number is 06.XX.XX.X.XX.XX and I am a traitor to my people.”
Nicolas Hénin had found himself “at the center of a veritable surge of violence and hatred on the net, mixing insults, threats to his person and to his relatives, conspiracy theories going so far as to question his past as a hostage. », Summarizes the quote, written by Me Éric Morain and Antoine Vey, who defend the three applicants.
Most of the reported messages were quickly deleted by the social network. But for lack of response from Twitter to his requests, the Paris prosecutor successively classified their complaints during the year 2020, because of “unknown authors”.
In the case of Mr. Salines, the Twitter support service told investigators that “he only responded to requisitions as part of a request for a rogatory commission or international criminal assistance,” reports the summons. “Twitter specified that even assuming that a requisition is made in these forms, it would then apply its own rules of procedure, by first informing the user concerned to give him the opportunity to challenge it in court. It is only in the absence of user recourse or failure that Twitter can + reasonably + respond. “
Contacted by AFP, the lawyer for Twitter did not wish to react.
In another procedure, launched in Paris in 2020, four associations – The Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF), SOS Racisme, SOS Homophobie and J’accuse – accuse Twitter of failing to meet its obligations of moderation. Mediation, ordered by the Paris court, is still ongoing.