Sunday, September 14, 2014

Local Catalan PP Tweets Photo Of Artur Mas With Death Threat Referendum Punishment

The Popular Party in Masnou (Catalonia) last night tweeted a photo suggesting violent punishment methods for Artur Mas if he calls a vote on November 9.

David Martínez, the social media manager for the local Popular Party in the village of Masnou (Catalonia) last night tweeted a question via Hootsuite to the party account’s 800 followers about what to do with the First Minister of Catalonia, Artur Mas if he calls a referendum on Catalan independence, which is likely to be declared illegal by Spain’s Constitutional Court later this month.

“If Artur Mas gets the ballot boxes out on November 9″, said the Tweet: “Which method appears more effective to make him see sense?”.



The Tweet was accompanied by a photo of Mr. Mas surrounded by a series of methods of violent punishment, including boxing gloves, a hand grenade, a broken bottle, a pistol, a chainsaw, two AK-47 assault rifles, a bloody knife and a nail-studded club.

Federico de las Heras, the Popular Party chairman in Masnou, apologised for the message this morning, which was deleted from the party’s Twitter stream, and told The Spain Report by telephone that he took full responsibility for what had happened “involuntarily”.

“He was taking part in a hashtag session for Popular Party members all over Spain, which is useful for improving relations between members. One doesn’t think someone else might be able to publish a photo on your timeline. There are lots of cartoons on the Internet and they just slip in there, like porn photos.”

Hootsuite Spain replied on its own Twitter account this morning, after receiving numerous questions and complaints about the tweet from the Masnou PP account, saying that their system was specifically set up so as to avoid the accidental sending of messages.

“Hootsuite does not create or send content automatically, and has systems to prevent accidental sending. Hootsuite bears no responsibility for the content sent out by its users”, said the company.

Asked about such technical assurances, Mr. de las Heras said that he wasn’t a technician but that “someone hit the key. But I don’t know if he was aware of what he was sending at that moment. He copied and pasted it, or dragged it, and the image appeared without him wanting it to. It’s absurd to imply that he did it on purpose”.

David Martínez, the community manager who sent out the tweet, had also published the same “involuntary” tweet on his personal account shortly before publishing it on the local Popular Party account, made his personal Twitter account private this morning and declined to comment on the furore.

“He is in a terrible way after what happened”, said Mr. de las Heras: “He’s received 30,000 complaint messages. It took him quite by surprise. He’s not used to all the attention”.

A young female PP member was hospitalised on Thursday evening after being attacked by pro-independence supporters as she walked throught the streets of Tarragona.

In August, several pro-independence activists in another Catalan village, Cardedeu, went to the home of a local Popular Party councillor during the annual village festival and spent 15 minutes simulating his execution by firing squad, as he watched from this balcony. The local party made a formal complaint to the police.

In May, following the murder of provincial PP chairman Isabel Carrasco in the north-western city of León and a flood of celebratory messages published by Spanish social media users, many including death threats, Spain’s conservative Home Secretary, Jorge Fernández Diaz, raged against the behaviour and said: “The Internet must be cleansed of undesirables”.

At the time of publication, Spain’s National Police and the Catalan First Minister’s office had not responded to questions on any formal complaints about the message and image published by the Popular Party in Masnou.



By Matthew Bennett | 
Published on The Spain Report



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