Paris attacks: Jewish leader accuses Twitter of 'collaborating with criminals' by allowing 'je suis Kouachi' tweets

The hashtag has been used thousands of times in the wake of Charlie Hebdo massacre

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The Independent Online

A Jewish leader in France has accused Twitter of “collaborating with criminals” for refusing to censor controversial messages posted in the aftermath of the Paris attacks.

While the #jesuisCharlie hashtag became one of the most used in the site’s history, #jesuisKouachi, using the name of the brothers who carried out the Charlie Hebdo massacre, was tweeted thousands of times.

The president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Associations, Roger Cukierman, argued that Twitter should have censored the tweets as young people are now “educated” through social networks.

“Yesterday there were 21,000 tweets taking the hashtag 'I am Kouachi', Kouachi are the murderers of the newspaper people,” he told Sky News.

Said and Cherif Kouachi, aged 34 and 32

“How can we accept that Twitter is accepting such messages, they are collaborating with criminals. It should be subject to penal law.”

He added: “Why can't we say you (social networks) are subject to the British or the French law if you are recommending murdering people ... why should we accept it?”

The number of #jesuisCharlie tweets was far higher, seeing the hashtag used 3.4 million times in an overwhelming show of solidarity for the victims in the 24-hour period after Wednesday’s shootings.

A woman holds a poster reading 'Je suis Charlie' (I am Charlie) during a vigil in Trafalgar Square in London for victims of the terrorist attack at Charlie Hebdo in Paris

While some of the #jesuisKouachi posts appeared to express admiration for the Kouachi brothers and condoned their massacre, a far greater number seemed to be discussing the trend or expressing outrage at its existence.

Several people called for those using the hashtag to be arrested or even tracked down and killed by a drone strike.

Others used it as an example of freedom of speech, demonstrating that people’s instinct to censor something held to be offensive contradicted the liberal values professed in the wake of the terror attacks.

A tweet sent from an official French police account asked people to report Twitter users who were endorsing the Charlie Hebdo shooting, the BBC reported, with at least one man due to appear in court over his comments after about 4,000 messages were flagged.


A selection of the #jesuiskouachi tweets:

A spokesperson for Twitter said: "All reported content is reviewed against our rules, which prohibit targeted harassment and direct, specific threats of violence against others."

The social network does not ban words or hashtags on its platform and discloses information on any data handed over to authorities in its transparency reports.