World

France anti-racism groups target Twitter for anti-Semitic content

Twitter may be under legal fire for a series of recent tweets which are deemed anti-Semitic by Jewish organizations in France.

A top trending French-language hashtag recently has been #unbonjuif, which in English means “a good Jew.” The first of these hashtags sparked what French socialist paper Le Monde called “a competition of jokes,” Israel National News reports.

One user posted a picture of an emaciated Jewish woman in a Nazi concentration camp with the description of “a good Jew,” and several other tweets read “a good Jew is a dead Jew.”

Anti-racism groups MRAP and SOS Racisme have sided with the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions, the official French affiliate of World Jewish Congress, in vowing to pursue legal action against what they consider hate speech on Twitter.

“We are taking this extremely seriously,” said SOS Racisme director Guillaume Ayne told France International News.”There is a deep-rooted anti-Semitism in France, and there is a very small step between racist words and racist acts.”

France has very strict laws against racism, and SOS Racisme’s lawyers are exploring avenues for legal action against Twitter.

Twitter’s top shareholder, Saudi billionaire prince Alwaleed bin Talal, is the second international investor that Twitter has taken from a region where the social media platform has played a vital role in political protests.

Both Twitter and Facebook have faced threats of legal action regarding dissent laws, especially in the Arab Spring uprisings.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter