France: Twitter users fined for hashtags saying gay people should be burned
For the first time a French court fined several Twitter users for using hashtags which called for gay people to be killed.
Three Twitter users were fined this week for using hashtags like “#Lesgaysdoiventdisparaitrecar” [“Gays must die because…”].
Those convicted in Paris this week had used the hashtag “#brûlonslesgayssurdu”, meaning “let’s burn the gays…”, in a case brought by the French LGBT charity Comité IDAHO.
Complaining that the users had incited hatred and violence based on sexual orientation, the case resulted in one €300 (£230) fine, and two more at €500 (£383).
Some have already commented that the fines were two low, given that the maximum penalty for such a crime is a €45,000 fine, and up to a year in prison.
According to the Local, prosecutors argued that statements made on Twitter should be considered the same as those made in any other way.
Prosecutors in France in 2013 launched an official investigation into the flurry of homophobic tweets sent using the hashtags #gaysmustdie, and #letsburngays.