After social-media sites booted Trump, Mexican leaders want to put ‘clear limits’ on what those companies can do

Mexico Senator Ricardo Monreal

The law would allow fines of up to $4.4 million for companies found to be violating users’ right to free speech. It would only apply to platforms with over a million users in Mexico, directly affecting Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

But protecting freedom by taking more control might not be the right approach, according to Sissi De La Peña, director for the

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MEXICO – The removal of President Donald Trump’s accounts by top social-media sites has sparked fear among Mexican political leaders, who now want control over bans and suspensions and to be able to impose financial penalties on those companies.

Trump’s last tweet before being permanently banned came on January 8, two days after the US Capitol riots.

“The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” Trump tweeted at 9:46 a.m.

Almost immediately, Twitter suspended Trump’s account, which had 88.7 million followers, for what it said was “encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts.”

Days later, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat also suspended Trump’s accounts indefinitely.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has criticized the companies’ decisions, saying he “doesn’t like censorship.”

“I don’t like anyone to be censored and for them to have their right taken away to send a message on Twitter or on Facebook,” he said at his morning news conference on January 7.

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

Others in the Mexican government want to go further. Senate majority leader Ricardo Monreal has proposed a law to “regulate and establish clear limits” on social media.

“What I’m looking [for] with this proposal is to establish clear limits to social media companies owners regarding bans and suspensions of personal accounts,” Monreal told Insider.

“We are not going after more censorship, but the opposite: We want to protect the right of social media users to keep their accounts,” he said.

Monreal’s proposal would allow Mexico’s Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) to overrule social media companies’ decisions on bans. It would allow suspended users to submit an appeal to the IFT.

“This autonomous organism will decide if someone is violating constitutional rights on social media, and if that’s the case, the responsible companies will receive a financial sanction,” Monreal said.

The law would allow fines of up to $4.4 million for companies found to be violating users’ right to free speech. It would only apply to platforms with over a million users in Mexico, directly affecting Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

But protecting freedom by taking more control might not be the right approach, according to Sissi De La Peña, director for the Latin-American Internet Association, a nonprofit organization advocating internet freedom and innovation.

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“Monreal’s proposal is an attempt against the open and free nature of the internet. Giving the government a dominant voice over social media” could limit everyone else’s freedom, De La Peña told Insider.

“These censorship models are in place in …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Politics

      

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