German Lawsuit Threatens Twitter’s Ideas For Free Speech

Twitter is currently grappling with a major legal battle after allegations that the platform failed to expunge a series of “hate speech” tweets, as reported by users. The looming case out of Germany, where the idea of free speech isn’t respected, could force a reckoning about online antisemitism and impose new standards of scrutiny, challenging Twitter’s philosophy on free expression. The tweets in question, flagged by HateAid and the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) in January of this year, were deemed racist or antisemitic. HateAid developed an app called “ReportHeroes” that can be used by the public to report instances of “digital violence,” including “hate speech,” defamation, and racism. Yet, Twitter, now under the leadership of Elon Musk, did not delete the tweets. Reportedly, some of the tweets denied the Holocaust, compared Covid-19 vaccination programs to Nazi extermination efforts, or made racist statements. Despite being reported, Twitter ruled three out of the six tweets as not violating its guidelines and allegedly ignored the rest. According to legal allegations, the Silicon Valley-based company failed to ensure a secure and safe environment for its users by not deleting the posts. HateAid and the EUJS have since taken their complaint to a Berlin court. In response, Twitter has blocked some of the offensive tweets. From The Guardian: “On 15 June, HateAid and the EUJS were informed by Twitter that the company had moved to block the offending tweets, though some have only been hidden from users in Germany where there are strict…German Lawsuit Threatens Twitter’s Ideas For Free Speech