French Lawmaker Wants to Limit Hate Speech on Twitter

France's Minister of Women's Rights wants Twitter to censor antigay, racist, and antisemitic speech.

BY Sunnivie Brydum

January 04 2013 7:50 PM ET

After a series of antigay tweets with the hashtag #SiMonFilsEstGay ("If my son is gay") trended for days on Twitter's feed in France, the country's Minister of Women's Rights called on the social networking site to censor hate speech.

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem noted that recent trending hate speech was by no means limited to homophobic comments, reports Mashable. Recent trends have included hashtags which translated to "A dead Jew," "A good Jew," and "If my daughter brings home a black." 

"At a moment when the government is implementing an action plan against violence and discrimination committed for reasons of sexual orientation or gender identity, I want, without prejudice to any legal action, to call upon Twitter's sense of responsibility, so that it can contribute to the prevention and the avoidance of misbehavior like this," reads Mashable's translation of Vallaud-Belkacem's statement originally reported in French newspaper Le Monde

"I want us to be able to work together, along with the most important associated agencies, to put in place alerts and security measures that will ensure that the unfortunate events that we have witnessed in recent weeks will not occur again," said Vallaud-Belkacem.

Vallaud-Belkacem rejected the premise that hate speech should be protected as free speech, noting that racism and homophobia often quickly escalate to violence.

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