May 20, 2019

Lawfare Project Mulling Spain Lawsuit Against Yahoo, Google and Twitter

The Lawfare Project has announced that they are considering filing a lawsuit against Google, Yahoo! and Twitter in Spain in an effort to pressure them into taking down anti-Semitic content from their websites.

According to a press release sent to the Journal, The Lawfare Project has already filed cease and desist letters to Google and Yahoo warning them that they will face legal action if they do not “take down anti-Semitic and defamatory content,” which includes “the proliferation of Holocaust denial websites.”

“Google, Yahoo, and Twitter are all hosting anti-Semitic websites and content on their platforms, which is a clear violation of Spanish law,” Lawfare Project Spanish counsel Ignacio Wenley Palacios said in the press release. “This cannot be allowed to continue. If they do not respond positively to the cease and desist letters sent last week, we will file lawsuits against them.”

Iglesias told the Journal in an email that Google, Twitter and Yahoo have deleted comments deemed racist when pressured to do so “but the application of their policies is very erratic.”

“Politically incorrect comments may be squashed without consideration while complaints about blatant racism and anti-Semitism are ignored,” Iglesias wrote. “How difficult is it to assess whether this tweet is racist or not: ‘The difference between a pizza and a Jew, is that the pizza does not scratch the walls inside the oven’”?

However, Iglesias is “very confident” that their lawsuit would hold up in court if they decide to launch it.

“Our actions are very nuanced, and meet the highest of European standards on free speech, and on liability of Internet providers, matching closely the reasoning of the case-law of both the Supreme Court of Spain, and the European Court of Human Rights,” Iglesias wrote.

There have been multiple efforts of late to crack down on anti-Semitic content online, including Israel developing a system that alerts Internet companies of such content on their sites and the need for them to be taken down. There is also an app that alerts users to online anti-Israel content.