Social media giant Twitter suspended the main account of Spanish populist party VOX this week after the party launched a new campaign to push back against Islamisation.
The party, the third-most popular in the country, according to polling, had its account temporarily restricted for allegedly violating Twitter’s rules. It had posted about crime in the Canary Islands and Catalonia, and the prevalence of migrants in criminal complaints.
“Most of them come from the Maghreb. It is in Catalonia that there is unanimous indolence and complicity with imported crime. There’s only Vox left!” the account stated, according to a report from Spanish newspaper El Diario.
VOX MP Claims MSM and Social Media Companies Censor His Party While Covering Up Far-Left Violence https://t.co/ExysgIz8VV
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 20, 2020
Santiago Abascal, the leader of Vox, spoke out about the ban on Twitter saying that Twitter “usurps the functions of democratic states, limiting fundamental rights” and adding: “They are attacking Liberty and democracy by censoring the public representatives of millions of Spaniards.”
Abascal said that he and VOX would also be presenting a formal complaint against Twitter, whose actions he labelled “totalitarian”, accing the corporation of trying to influence the upcoming Catalan elections.
“Today Twiter plays the game of the violent and the manipulators. While some literally stone us, others demonize us, others manipulate, and Twitter silences us so that we have no defence,” Abascal said.
One of the regions mentioned by the Vox account before the suspension, the Canary Islands, saw a massive surge of illegal migrant arrivals last year, with over 8,000 migrants arriving in the month of November alone, according to Spanish interior ministry statistics.
Spain Deploys Police to West Africa as Canary Islands Migrant Influx Increases by 1,000 Per Cent https://t.co/fWKAajS5F3
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 23, 2020
Members of VOX have spoken out against tech censorship in the past, including MP Iván Espinosa, who spoke to Breitbart News on the subject last year. He said the tech censorship in Spain was on a “much larger scale” than the United States at the time, although that has arguably changed now following the mass purge of then-President Donald Trump from most major platforms in early January.
Espinosa added that member of the party had received warnings on Facebook-owned social media site Instagram for simply posting personal pictures: “I’ve uploaded pictures of my kids or my family and it gets tagged as sensitive content,” he said.
Despite censorship online, VOX remains the third-most popular party in the country, with a national poll released on January 25th putting the party at 14 per cent — a much more significant level of support than it might seem on first glance, given the nature of government coalition-building in Spain’s multi-party system.
Hungary Will Legislate Against Tech Censorship: ‘We Must Fight for Our Digital Freedom!’ https://t.co/DZ6PKE5q5E
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 29, 2021