Twitter Sued for $50M: Company Fails to Hand Over User Details After #Unbonjuif Hashtag Controversy

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Twitter is being sued for $50M in France after allegedly failing to disclose the identities of a group of users posting anti-Semitic messages and hashtags over a five month period.

Numerous unknown users began posting offensive jokes and photos along with a hashtag #unbonjuif - which in English means "Good Jew." Most of the posts with the hashtag caused outrage by other users calling them anti-Semitic and offensive to the Jewish community.

After a strong backlash Twitter ended up removing the offensive tweets, however, that was not action enough for some of those angered by the postings. They demanded that Twitter release the identities of all the users that had posted offensive messages under the #unbonjuif hashtag, in the hope that they could be prosecuted under France's anti-hate speech laws.

After Twitter failed to respond the Union of French Jewish Students (UEJF) filed a summons against Twitter in November 2012, and in January a French court ordered the social media company to provide the identities of the users.

However, Twitter's two weeks to comply with the order came and passed and the company has still not complied with the order. The UEJF is now seeking to sue the company for $50 million for failure to adhere to the court order.

In the past Twitter has given way to delete controversy posts and user accounts, but it has been extremely apprehensive to hand over users' details in any case, fearing that users would shy away from the company worried that their privacy could be breached.