Twitter temporarily suspends VOX account for “violating the rules prohibiting hate speech”

Twitter has suspended (again) the account of the political party VOX. The reason, they use from the social network and exposes Santiago Abascal, president of the party, is a tweet that violates the rules that prohibit hateful behavior. The blockade comes at a time during the electoral campaign, since the Catalan elections will take place on February 14.

Specifically, this tweet links immigration with crime. “They account for approximately 0.2% and are responsible for 93% of complaints. Most come from the Maghreb. It is Catalonia that is leaving unanimous indolence and complicity with imported crime. There is only VOX! # StopIslamination”, exposes the tweet in question, although it is not the only one that the party has published talking about the alleged “Islamization of Catalonia.”

The same day and at the same time that the PP, with its subsidized media, launches a crude disinformation campaign against VOX, this social network @TwitterEspana censors our official account @voxes, preventing us from launching our message and explaining our positions.

THREAD ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/tOrhnI7JNQ

– Santiago Abascal ?? (@SantiABASCAL) January 28, 2021

Tweets against Twitter policies

Abascal has not hesitated to speak of “censorship” and in accusing Twitter of preventing them from “launching our message and explaining our positions.” The president of the party believes that it is a “very serious fact because Twitter usurps the functions of democratic states” and that “they are attacking Freedom and democracy by censoring the public representatives of millions of Spaniards.”

The leader of VOX has reaffirmed about the tweet that has caused the suspension of the party’s account, ensuring that “the tweet that has motivated the censorship offers data on the violence suffered by Spaniards … in Catalonia or the Canary Islands. The technological millionaires do not want the consequences of the migratory invasion that they promote with some governments to be known. “

If we take a look at Twitter’s hate speech policy we can see that the following is clearly stated:

“We prohibit targeting individuals and groups with content intended to incite fear or spread fear stereotypes about a protected category, including stating that members of a protected category are more likely to engage in illegal or dangerous activities, for example,” Everyone the they are terrorists “”.

Why do they send us to the “thinking corner” for a week?

Who has decided to silence the third party of Spain?

What crime have we committed to get expelled from a public forum? pic.twitter.com/omhW49ICQe

– ManuelMariscalZabala (@MariscalZabala) January 28, 2021

Remember that we are talking about a temporary account suspension, not the removal of it. In fact, according to Manuel Mariscal, the party’s vice secretary of communication, the blockade will last six days and 22 hours. It is not the first time this has happened, since at the beginning of last year the party’s account was suspended for incitement to hatred. According to Europa Press, VOX is going to file a complaint against the social network.

Twitter explains the temporary suspension

In Engadget we have been able to speak with those responsible for Twitter, who explained to us how this type of action apply “to everyone equally, be it a political party, a company or any person “.

The service has a “framework of action, which is our rules of use”, the objective of which is for everyone to have their voice on this platform, they said, but with certain limits. For Twitter, these rules are in line with the Declaration of Human Rights, and in their official statement in relation to this event they explained the following:

“Inciting fear against a group of people because of their origin or nationality has no place in our service. The account you refer to is temporarily limited for violating our Policy on hateful behavior. The owner of the account must delete the offending Tweet before regaining access to your account. “

The rules of use of Twitter have been updated in recent years and in fact a few weeks ago they were modified again to expand them and “prohibit content that dehumanizes a group of people because of their religion, caste, age, disability, serious illness, national origin, race or ethnicity.”

How long will that suspension last? Depends. When Twitter takes these measures, it informs the owner of the affected account of the process to follow. Normally, this process involves eliminating the triggering tweet and following a series of steps.

From there, those responsible for Twitter told us, the period of suspension may last more or less (Trump’s 12-hour veto is one example). That period also depends on the history of the behavior of the account affected by the suspension, but it could last a week, something that is especially delicate in the middle of the campaign for the Catalan elections.