Mexico’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obr’odor, said on Thursday that he will express his opposition to how social media companies can “suspend freedom of expression” at the next G20 meeting.
“The first meeting we have at the G20 I will make a statement on this issue. Yes, (social media companies) should not be used to incite violence, but that cannot be a reason to suspend freedom of expression, it should not be used as an excuse, we must guarantee freedom,” said the Mexican president in his morning press conference.
Last week, Twitter permanently suspended Donald Trump’s personal account due to the “risk of further incitement to violence” after the assault on the Capitol, and both Facebook and Instagram blocked the Republican’s access to his accounts.
Facebook and Twitter took that unprecedented step after Trump even insisted to his followers in a videotape that they should respect law and order, and that he completely rejected violence.
The Mexican executive defended today that it is “the legitimate states or nations that have to impose mechanisms of sanction or regulation” and vehemently denounced that “it is private companies doing it.”
“There are already other governments that have expressed themselves, such as Chancellor’s Angela Merkel, who expressed her concern about these measures, and the French government and the European Union,” he said.
On January 7th, after the assault on the U.S. Congress, the Mexican president criticized Facebook and Twitter for “censoring” Donald Trump, although he didn’t name the head of the White House directly.
And this Wednesday, he compared social media companies to “the Holy Inquisition of our times.”
“We have immediately had contact with governments that think the same way, the instruction we have is to establish contact with all of them to work on a common proposal,” said Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrad.
The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) revealed that they have already maintained contact with other governments such as Germany, France, and “many others within the European Union” over the issue.
“It’s not allowed for companies or certain groups to decide who is entitled to speak or not, what we want is to protect freedoms,” he said.
Lopez Obrador also discussed the “invasion of privacy” through cell phones and the internet, and said that they are already considering the possibility that in the coming days a specialist can come to his morning conference “to expand more about the issue to people”.