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Hogan Lovells represents Twitter in first ever “fake news” case

London, Paris, 4 June 2019 – Hogan Lovells recently represented Twitter in the first case brought under the new French ‘fake news’ law.

On 17 May a claim brought by Ms. Marie-Pierre Vieu (a European Deputy running for reelection) and Mr. Pierre Ouzoulias  (a French Senator), against Hogan Lovells client Twitter France SAS, was dismissed by the Paris Civil Court.

The claim aimed to get the removal of a tweet posted by Mr. Christophe Castaner on 1 May 2019 in relation to some ‘yellow vest’ events at the Parisian hospital Pitié-Salpêtrière. This was the first such request brought under the new French “fake news” law.

The judge ruled that Twitter France SAS was not the proper entity to sue as Twitter International Company is the entity which provides Twitter services to French users. He also noted that while Mr. Christophe Castaner’s tweet may have appeared exaggerated, it related to real facts.

The plaintiffs did not prove that the tweet would have been disseminated artificially or in an automated manner, and there was no obvious risk that the vote would be altered. So, the requirements to remove the tweet were not met.

The Hogan Lovells team representing Twitter comprised Christelle Coslin, Partner; Pauline Faron, Senior Associate; and Marie Voutsas, Associate.