French far-right weekly barred from Twitter over ‘hate speech’

Twitter suspended the French far-right magazine Rivarol’s account after racial slurs. (File/AFP)
Updated 19 February 2019
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French far-right weekly barred from Twitter over ‘hate speech’

  • Rivarol’s Twitter account “called for racial hatred and sympathized with crimes against humanity,” a government spokesman said
  • France, home to the biggest Jewish community in Europe, has seen a sharp rise in anti-Jewish offenses reported to police

PARIS: A French far-right magazine had its Twitter account suspended Monday, French officials said, after multiple complaints of hate speech including anti-Semitic abuse.
Rivarol’s Twitter account “called for racial hatred and sympathized with crimes against humanity,” a spokesman for the government’s racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination body (DILCRAH) said, adding it had repeatedly reported the account to the social media platform.
France, home to the biggest Jewish community in Europe, has seen a sharp rise in anti-Jewish offenses reported to police — up 74 percent last year.
A spate of anti-Semitic vandalism and graffiti in and around Paris in recent weeks has caused fresh alarm and sparked widespread condemnation.
Frederic Potier from DILCRAH welcomed the move by Twitter, saying it was thanks to a push “against online hate speech.”
In a tweet on February 13 that has now been removed, the weekly magazine wrote: “When I was a child I didn’t understand why Jews were detested by all people, all nations throughout history. Today I don’t even ask the question anymore. Actually I do, I wonder why they aren’t (detested) more.”
Sacha Ghozlan, head of the French Union of Jewish Students, told AFP: “It’s an important victory and a brake on this anti-Semitic rag that has been spreading hatred of Jews for years.”
“However, there is still a lot of work to be done on Twitter,” he said, adding that online abuse of Jews has long gone unpunished.
He said he suspected that Rivarol’s editor Jerome Bourbon — whose own Twitter account was already suspended — was personally behind the magazine’s tweets.
Several rallies against anti-Semitism are planned across France on Tuesday.


Taliban threaten Afghan media, say reporters to be targeted

Updated 24 June 2019
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Taliban threaten Afghan media, say reporters to be targeted

  • Taliban urged Afghan media to cease transmitting anti-Taliban announcements paid for by the government
  • If they refuse to do this will be considered enemy intelligence nests and their journalists and other staffers will not be safe

KABUL, Afghanistan: The Taliban have issued a threat to Afghan media, saying journalists will be targeted unless news outlets stop broadcasting what they describe as government propaganda against the insurgents.
Monday’s statement gives Afghan radio stations, TV channels and others a week to cease transmitting anti-Taliban announcements paid for by the government.
The Taliban say that Afghan media that refuse to do this will be considered enemy intelligence nests and their journalists and other staffers will not be safe.
The government in Kabul pays media outlets to regularly air please to the public to inform authorities if they see any suspicious Taliban activities.
The Taliban have targeted Afghan media, radio and TV stations in the past but this is the insurgents’ first threat over a specific issue such as the government-paid announcements.