France Launches Probe Into "Death To Gays" Tweets
With the extra attention paid to online privacy in the wake of Edward Snowden's NSA leaks, a push from France for Twitter to reveal the folks behind violent homophobic tweets is causing more controversy than it should.
The tweets, which appeared on August 10 and 11 and quickly trended without any retribution from Twitter, utilized hashtags like #MortAuGay (death to gays) #LesGaysDoiventDispaîratreCar (gays must be vanquished), and #BrulonsLesGaysSurDu (burn the gays). The International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) organization's French wing launched a complaint to French authorities over the tweets immediately following their ascension to the #Trending list, and this week, prosecutors in the country have confirmed the issue has received a formal probe and will head to court.
“This is a completely blatant call for the death and murder of gay people. It is totally unacceptable,” IDAHO's Alexandre Marcel said. “We support free expression, and we understand that there are some people who simply don’t like gay people, but this is a call for the extermination of the gay community. Twitter hasn’t deleted a single homophobic tweet, nor removed a single homophobic hashtag from its list of most popular trending term."
“Could you imagine being a 17 or 18-year-old gay person logging on to Twitter, which, remember, is most popular among young people, and seeing messages that call for you to be killed?," Marcel added.
How should Twitter handle these kinds of Tweets, Instincters?