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French court says Twitter must reveal measures on online hate

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French anti-discrimination groups brought a case against Twitter over what they see as a longstanding failure to properly moderate posts


French anti-discrimination groups brought a case against Twitter over what they see as a longstanding failure to properly moderate posts – Copyright AFP/File Charly TRIBALLEAU

A Paris court on Thursday ruled that Twitter must reveal its measures for fighting hate speech, in one of several cases thrashing out whether the French justice system has jurisdiction over the US social media giant.

Ireland-based Twitter International had appealed a July decision ordering it to share documents and details about its French moderation team and data on their activities against hate speech.

That case had been brought by several anti-discrimination groups over what they said was the company’s longstanding failure to properly moderate posts.

The appeals court on Thursday confirmed the first judgement and further ordered Twitter to pay 1,500 euros ($1,700) to the groups, including SOS Racisme, SOS Homophobie and the International League against racism and anti-Semitism (Licra).

In another Paris case, three victims of terrorist attacks who have suffered online harassment are suing Twitter France.

They argue it was the company’s fault that their cases against their harassers failed, as it did not provide identifying information that investigators had asked for.

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In that case, Twitter France chief Damien Viel told a court last week that “I’m in charge of Twitter’s business development and nothing more”.

Providing data to the authorities was “up to the good will of Twitter International, which is outside French jurisdiction and can decide whether to cooperate or not,” his lawyer Karim Beylouni added.

In still another case in Versailles, just outside Paris, Twitter France has said it is unable to comply with a police request for information on people who sent insults and threats to a public official.

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The local office says it does not store any information, with all data handled by the group’s European mothership based in Ireland.

But prosecutors have asked for fines as high as 75,000 euros against both Twitter France and manager Viel personally.



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LinkedIn Updates Professional Community Policies to Better Reflect What’s Not Allowed in the App

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LinkedIn Updates Professional Community Policies to Better Reflect What's Not Allowed in the App

LinkedIn has announced an update to its Professional Community Policies, which dictate what’s allowed, and what’s not, within your various LinkedIn communications.

The updated policies aim to provide more insight into specific elements of in-app engagement – because people, especially women, are sick of LinkedIn being used as a hook-up site by overeager users who like the looks of their profile image.

That’s not the only reason, but definitely, reports of harassment via LinkedIn’s InMail have been rising.

As explained by LinkedIn:

“As part of our updated policies, we’re publishing a set of expanded resources for members to better understand our policies and how we apply them, including detailed examples of content that isn’t allowed and how we handle account restrictions. While harassment, hate speech, and other abusive content has never been allowed on LinkedIn, we’ve added what types of comments and behaviors go against our Professional Community Policies.”

In this updated format, LinkedIn’s new policy overview includes specific sections outlining what’s not allowed in the app, with links that you can click on for more information.

Follow the links and you’ll be taken to the relevant LinkedIn Help article on that topic, which also includes a section that shares more specific explainers on what’s not allowed in the app.

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LinkedIn policies

The aim is to provide more direct insight into what you can’t do in the app, and with engagement continuing to rise across LinkedIn, it makes sense that, logically, LinkedIn is also going to see more interactions that violate these terms.

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And as noted, women are disproportionately targeted by such activity.

A report by CTV Canada last year found that many female LinkedIn users regularly receive inappropriate messages from men, who’ll often reach out to tell women that they find them attractive. Fast Company reported in 2020 that posts from female users are often targeted with ‘derision, marginalization and even outright hate’, despite LinkedIn being a lass anonymous platform than others, while many other women have reported similar advances or attacks by users in the app.

LinkedIn does have a specific policy against ‘sexual innuendos and unwanted advances’, which now also includes more examples of what’s not allowed.

LinkedIn Community Policies

But the fact that this is even necessary is a little disconcerting – and really, this does seem to be the main focus of this new update, providing more context around what you can’t do in the app, which is really an expansion of general workplace etiquette and ethics.

It seems like that should be a given, and that all users should be able to engage in a professional manner, but of course, as with any widely used platform, there will always be some that push the boundaries, and break the rules, especially if those regulations are unclear.

Which is what LinkedIn’s seeking to clarify, and hopefully, this new format will make it easier for people to understand what they can and can’t do in the app.

You can check out LinkedIn’s updated Professional Community Policies here.

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