Mexican Initiative to Regulate Social NetworksBy Sofía Hanna | Fri, 02/05/2021 - 10:45
Given the recent issues with Twitter regarding censorship of accounts of people connected to Andrés Manuel López Obrador's administration for alleged manipulation of the platform, as previously reported by MBN, the government was planning to develop its own social media. However, the situation has escalated to an initiative to regulate social networks. "We care a lot about freedom. Therefore, we will address this issue, so there is no censorship in Mexico," López Obrador said, according to Excelsior.
In a recent press conference featuring Senator Ricardo Monreal, he announced that the government was drafting a reform to the Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law to regulate social networks. According to El Universal, the goal is to protect the right to information and freedom of expression of all citizens. “It is not about censoring, it is not about eliminating and it is not about obstructing the right to free expression of ideas,” Monreal stated during the press conference. “A private entity, no matter how powerful it may be, no matter how wealthy it is in economic matters, cannot decide who and what content to delete from its network."
A day after said conference, Monreal announced that he would be meeting with Twitter and Facebook managers before presenting an initiative to regulate social networks. He is planning to get their feedback before formally submitting it, reported Infobae. The general idea is to reform various articles of the Federal Telecommunications Law so freedom of speech and liberty are not in danger because of censorship.
There have been multiple statements against this action as it is being compared to when China developed Weibo to replace other networks, which ended up being a way to keep people under surveillance and control, as previously mentioned by MBN. "I want to act wisely. Above all, the purpose is to protect users from interpretations, abuses or discretionary opinions that obstruct and undermine the right of expression and the freedom of users," said Monreal, according to Infobae.
Private organizations have offered to help in this venture. However, shortly after, it was made clear that this decision does not correspond to the private sector and that it would be managed through sovereign deliberation and approval.