In France, Twitter and its country director, Damien Viel, are on trial for “complicating public insults by not helping justice”. Social media platform Twitter moved to the judiciary in France. The French court tried Twitter and the French director for not sharing the information of two users who commented under the governor’s post with the prosecutor’s office. The Yvelines Governorate did not share the information of two users with the authorities, who compared the curfew controls imposed by the police due to the coronavirus, which they shared on Twitter in March 2021, to “Nazi practices”. Versailles Court yesterday, on this ground, tried Twitter and Diel “for complicity in insulting the public” and “refusing to respond to an official request”.
Prosecutor Philippe Toccanier called Twitter “an asocial network where tolerance is lost” and “injures public peace, the proper functioning of French society”. He requested the court to sentence Twitter and Viel to fines of up to 75,000 euros. Toccanier also stated that Twitter Inc, the headquarters of Twitter, “intentionally” refused to transmit the information requested by the French judiciary. Therefore, he claimed that he was breaking the law.
Trial for Twitter in France: complicity in public defamation
“Twitter is outside the jurisdiction of France”
In his defense to the court, the accused Director Viel stated that Twitter France does not store data and that user data is stored and processed at Twitter Inc. in Ireland. “I am responsible for Twitter’s economic development and nothing else is my responsibility.” Viel emphasized that he is not a General Manager, but a Country Representative. Viel’s lawyer Karim Beylouni explained that the information requested by the Prosecutor’s Office was based on the goodwill of Twitter International, which is outside the jurisdiction of France and is free to cooperate or not.
The court postponed its final decision to the hearing to be held on March 21.