MADRID – Twitter has temporarily blocked the official account of the right-wing populist party Vox for hate speech. Several organisations publicly denounced an inflammatory tweet from the Vox Twitter account.
Although the account is not down, admins will not be able to post new tweets or respond to messages. It concerns a message in which the party writes about Muslims: “[..] they make up about 0.2% [of the population], but are responsible for 93% of all reports. Most of them come from North Africa. They leave a legacy of unanimous laziness and criminal involvement. Only Vox remains!”
Threatening, harassing, and inciting violence prohibited on Twitter
Twitter believes the party’s message does not adhere to the rule that it is forbidden to “threaten, harass or incite violence against persons based on ethnic origin, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, religion, age, disability or disease.”
Vox published the tweet, part of a series under the hashtag #stopislamización, before the start of the Catalan election campaign. Catalan Vox candidate Ignacio Garriga posted a video on Twitter mixing images from August 2017’s Ramblas attack with the construction of a mosque and the introduction of Islam education. In doing so, the party unmistakably identified Islam as a terrorist.
“Burdened by Islam and Islamic Commandments”
Another tweet says: “The Catalan sub-government obliges Islam education in public schools. And at the same time prohibits the use of Spanish. We do not allow our children to suffer from Islam and the Islamic commandments that go against our culture and way of life.” This school year, six Catalan schools have launched optional Islamic education. This is the same as offered for the Catholic faith. Both are in accordance with the guidelines of the Spanish government.
Party leader Santiago Abascal announced via his personal Twitter account he will file a complaint against Twitter for “attempting to influence the upcoming Catalan elections.” Vox’s Twitter account, with 430 thousand followers, is unavailable to admins for a week.
Not the first time Vox Twitter account blocked
It is not the first time Vox’s Twitter account has been blocked. In January last year, PSOE confronted the party about its intolerant attitude towards the LGBTI community and gay marriage. Vox responded with a message accusing PSOE of promoting pedophilia with public funds. Twitter subsequently blocked the account for 48 hours until Vox deleted the message.