The efforts of Catalan to receive independent statehood has been long and violent, but on the evening of October 1, 2017, Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont stated that the Spanish region had won the right to exist as an independent nation. Naturally, Spain’s constitutional court had declared the poll illegal and hundreds of people were injured as police used force to try to block voting.

In a televised address to the Catalan people, Mr. Puigdemont said, “With this day of hope and suffering, the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form a republic.” Even after a violent police crackdown, Catalonian voters have urged the regional government to declare independence. 

Large tech companies, namely Google and Twitter, have engaged in political opposition to Catalonian independence, with Google blocking an app that shows where to vote for “political reasons.” American award-winning journalist Tim Pool, who found fame during a 21-hour-marathon of reporting during the Occupy Wall Street protests, retweeted a video of the app refusing to work properly by French Twitter user @mandineSanchez

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Additionally, conservative political commentator Jack Posobiec observed that Twitter had shut down Voice of Europe’s Twitter account. Voice of Europe is a relatively large news network that offers “breaking news, uncensored articles and must-see videos,” yet Twitter deemed it necessary to shut down the platform hours before the Catalonian referendum. 

 

Big Tech has once again proven to oppose the basic elements of free speech, expression, and has opted to censor whatever they deem to be inappropriate for the general population. This sort of behavior, however, is inexcusable, and requires to be called out by users. Social media and tech companies should have no role to play in socio-political issues, and should work democratically. Is this the last straw for social media outlets, and is the Trump administration working to utilize such outlets? Only time will tell, but the digital hierarchs have clearly chosen a side on the ongoing culture war.