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Twitter appeals in French court against groups that demand more censorship

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A court in Paris will hear an appeal from Twitter to overturn a lower court’s ruling ordering the platform to disclose the resources it has dedicated to content moderation. The case was brought by four NGOs, who believe Twitter is not doing enough to censor content.

In July, a lower court ordered Twitter to provide “any administrative, contractual, technical or commercial document relating to material and human resources” it has dedicated to combating harmful content. Twitter appealed the decision.

The appeal hearing was heard on December 9, with Twitter arguing that it is not legally obligated to share information on internal processes.

Meanwhile the EU is working on the Digital Services Act (DSA), a law that contains provisions aimed at increasing social media companies transparency on their content moderation practices.

A text of the draft bill, obtained by POLITICO, states that platforms should report “the complete number of content moderators allocated for each official language per member state.”

According to the NGOs that filed the case against Twitter, unlike other platforms, it does not seem bothered by the hate speech that thrives on the platform. The four NGOs conducted a study that led to the court case. The study found Twitter to be a “black sheep” among the other platforms.

“I’m not saying that the situation is perfect at Facebook and YouTube, but there is an effort made, there is a will to moderate,” said Samuel Lejoyeux, the president of the Union of French Jewish students (one of the four NGOs). “At Twitter, there is a will to let the culture clash, the culture of hate and insults [proliferate], it’s the foundation of the business model.”

Their study concluded that Twitter only removed 11.4% of “hateful” tweets. They compared it to Facebook, which allegedly removed 67.9% of flagged content.

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