Spain's ultra-conservative Vox party has filed a criminal complaint in a Spanish court against Twitter.

08-02-2020Jon Nazca

Spain's ultra-conservative Vox party has filed a criminal complaint in a Spanish court against Twitter, alleging the social media company violated its basic rights by blocking it from tweeting, Vox said on Friday.

Twitter disabled the tweet function on Vox's official account in Spain more than two weeks ago, after - in an apparent reference to a gender equality programme for schoolchildren - the account sent out a post accusing the governing Socialists of using public money to encourage paedophilia.

"The attitude of Twitter is violating basic rights such as freedom of expression, the right to political participation, ideological freedom and the principle of political pluralism and equality," the party said in a statement.

It said it had asked the judge to lift the tweet ban while the court decides on whether it will hear the case.

The court challenge is the latest in a spate of legal confrontations between tech companies and far-right groups globally, as social media platforms seek to crack down on hate speech and the groups argues their views are being discriminated against.

In a statement sent after the Vox account was restricted, a spokeswoman for Twitter said the post had violated the company's norms. Vox had been notified of the offensive tweet and told that certain functions on its account would be limited until the tweet was deleted.

Twitter said on Friday it had nothing to add to its previous statement.

Vox also disputed Twitter's characterisation of its tweet as hate speech, adding the court challenge included an accusation of slander.

Vox, which is anti-feminist and seeks to curtail the rights of the LGBT community, surged in the November election to become the third-largest party in Spain's parliament.

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