Far-right politician Van Grieken’s Twitter account blocked for ‘violating site’s rules’
Friday, 09 April 2021
Leader of the far-right Vlaams Belang party Tom Van Grieken’s Twitter account has been blocked by the website after he published a post saying a member of the Vooruit party of decorating his house ‘with posters of mass murderers’ on the platform.
The tweet in question, which dates back to September last year, was a selfie of Stef Vonk showing a drawing of Joseph Stalin hanging near his toilet, to which Van Grieken added the caption: “Is this that new Vooruit movement?”
“Vonk put this picture on social media himself. I only redistributed it afterward, which is not a breach of the rules. But above all: it is not up to CEOs in a country across the vast ocean to determine what democratically elected members of parliament may or may not say,” Van Grieken told Het Laatste Nieuws.
The social media platform said his account activity “violated the Twitter rules on posting private material of a person”, and that Van Grieken must delete the tweet in question if he wants to gain access again, however, he has said that he has “absolutely no intention” of deleting his tweet.
Van Grieken recently shared the old post again after Vonk put a request out on Twitter asking what profile picture he should add.
“I told him to use the photo on which he posed with communist mass murderers like Lenin and Stalin. Whereupon he blocked me and – I suspect – also reported me. And because of this, Twitter has locked my account”, Van Grieken said.
He said that he has started a procedure to unlock the account, but argued that Twitter is preventing him from communicating with citizens and that “it shouldn’t be getting involved in politics.”
Je eert despoten niet door ze in je WC te hangen. Ik heb letterlijk het schijt aan dictators 💩.
Tom wist dat goed genoeg. Ik heb niet gevraagd om zijn account te schorsen, maar fijn dat Twitter actief optreedt tegen misinformatie (cfr ook bv. zijn Erdogan tweet). pic.twitter.com/UuugneNcPQ
Vonk responded on Twitter saying: “You don’t honour despots by hanging them in your toilet. I don’t care about these dictators. Tom knew that well enough. I didn’t ask for his account to be suspended, but it’s nice that Twitter is actively taking action against misinformation.”