Sunday, August 1, 2021

Censorship: Mexico launches international campaign to regulate Facebook, Twitter

President Obrador flawed the premise upon which social networking platforms hinged their decision to suspend President Donald Trump.

• January 15, 2021
Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, President of Mexico (Photo Credit: VOA)

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico has railed against the seemingly aggressive censoring of U.S. President Donald Trump by major social media platforms over last week’s violence at the U.S. Capitol.

Mr. Trump has been yanked off popular networking apps such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, amongst others for allegedly inciting a fatal mob action at the Capitol building which resulted in at least three deaths.

President Obrador has vowed to champion an international campaign against social media censorship at the next convergence of the G20 summit, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

“I can tell you that at the first G20 meeting we have, I am going to make a proposal on this issue,” the newspaper reported the Mexican leader to have said.

Mr. Obrador flawed the premise upon which the networking platforms hinged their decision to suspend the outgoing U.S. president.
“Yes, social media should not be used to incite violence and all that, but this cannot be used as a pretext to suspend freedom of expression,” he said, while criticising the unrestrained powers of handlers of social media platforms.

“How can a company act as if it was all powerful, omnipotent?” President Obrador queried.

Many world leaders have taken turns to condemn the Trump ban, with Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki advocating legislation to regulate corporate social media giants in the European Union.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel insists that only parliament has the exclusive preserve to enact policies governing speech, and not technology firms. At least two members of the French parliament have also condemned the censorship and threatened to properly regulate the social media networks.

But Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey pushed back strongly against claims that social media giants were seeking to suppress speech. In a statement on Thursday, Mr. Dorsey acknowledged Twitter’s decision to ban Mr. Trump was destructive, divisive and dangerous, but said it was foisted upon social media to take steps to prevent online speech from causing offline chaos.

Mr. Dorsey also said he would be open to a solution that would cut down the power of social media giants from decision an appropriate tone for online commentary. 

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