Mexican leaders want to control the power to ban and suspend accounts of social networks, as well as impose financial penalties on these companies.
The fact that former US President Donald Trump was banned by Facebook, Twitter … permanently banned accounts, causing concern for Mexican leaders. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador criticized the decisions of these companies and said he “does not like censorship”.
At a press conference on January 7, the President of Mexico said: “I do not like that someone is censored and deprived of the right to send messages on Twitter or on Facebook. I can tell you: at the first G20 meeting I will make a suggestion on this. Yes, social media should not be used to incite violence and such things, but it cannot be an excuse to suspend freedom of speech.
Other members of the Mexican government want to go further. Congressman Ricardo Monreal proposes a bill “regulating and setting clear limits” on social media regarding the ban and suspension of personal accounts. He wants to protect the rights of social media users to keep accounts.
Monreal’s proposal to allow the Mexican Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT) to reject the decision to ban social media accounts. Prohibited users are also allowed to submit appeals to the IFT. In addition, the IFT will also determine if a person is violating constitutional rights on social media. If so, the responsible companies will be financially punished.
The bill will penalize up to $ 4.4 million if the company is found to violate its users’ freedom of expression. It only applies to platforms with over 1 million users in Mexico, directly influencing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Mr. Monreal emphasized that the real intention of the bill is to protect freedom of speech. According to him, today there is no real freedom of expression. The owners of the social network can cancel accounts, ban content. He wants an organization that automatically controls that, not the individual.
However, if penalizing foreign companies, the bill could violate the free trade agreement between the three countries America – Mexico – Canada. The agreement states “neither party shall impose liability on the provider or user of the interactive computer service”.
Mexico may be the first country in Latin America to pass a law governing social media.
Du Lam (According to BI)
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