by WorldTribune Staff, January 15, 2021
Mexico’s socialist president on Thursday said he would lead an international effort to combat censorship by social media companies that have blocked or suspended the accounts of President Donald Trump.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he administration is reaching out to other governments to form a common front on the issue.
“I can tell you that at the first G20 meeting we have, I am going to make a proposal on this issue,” López Obrador said. “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.”
López Obrador’s effort comes a week after platforms including Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat, among others, suspended Trump’s accounts following the breach of the U.S. Capitol.
“How can a company act as if it was all powerful, omnipotent, as a sort of Spanish Inquisition on what is expressed?” López Obrador asked.
Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said Mexico is starting to build an international campaign around the issue.
“Given that Mexico, through our president, has spoken out, we immediately made contact with others who think the same,” Ebrard said, noting they had heard from officials in France, Germany, the European Union, Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.
On Tuesday, the Mexican president posted a Facebook message urging his followers to switch to Telegram, which he referred to as “the blessed social media.”
“When he talks about the blessed social media, he is referring to the citizens who use it freely to express opinions freely and get information,” Jesus Ramírez Cuevas, the president’s spokesman, said. “The mass use of social media has allowed his message to get through, when before it was blocked by traditional news media.”
World leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel have spoken out against the actions Big Tech has taken against Trump.
Merkel called the move “problematic.”
Poland’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, called for new regulations that would govern the use of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the European Union, saying “the owners of corporate giants should not decide which views are right and which are not.”