President of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador proposed to create a social network for guaranteeing speech freedom and avoiding censorship.
In an unexpected move, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador attacked Twitter Mexico’s director of public policy Hugo Rodríguez Nicolat, who was far from a media figure up to that point. In his daily morning press conference, the president published the executive director’s curriculum vitae without much concern and pointed out his connection with the PAN, a party in which he was a member and, according to López Obrador, was an advisor to a “well-known” senator.
The strange exhibition of a regional Twitter executive comes after López Obrador himself expressed concern about policies that he calls “censorship,” such as the decision to suspend Donald Trump’s Twitter account. By suggesting that the company is close to the PAN, he also suggests that at some point Twitter could censor his speeches and tweets. On social media, many of López Obrador’s supporters claim that Twitter has become a farm of bots that support the PAN.
Twitter defends its employee
In a short time, Twitter Mexico published a response to López Obrador’s allegations and the company emphasized that no one decides the company’s policies on its own and regretted the exhibition of its employees.
The company affirmed that the social network follows established rules and a collegiate and plural body is what guarantees that these are complied with.
A Mexican social network?
Although the accusations of the president of Mexico are far from delusional, something positive can be drawn from this schism.
In previous days López Obrador suggested the possibility of creating a Mexican social network. In the project, the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt), the Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT) and the Ministry of Foreign Relations (SRE) would participate with the aim of guaranteeing that in Mexico there are freedoms and no censorship.
The idea sounds like a catch-all, but it could also benefit the country’s tech scene. In Russia, South Korea or China there are alternatives to social networks developed in Silicon Valley and their creators have become regional billionaires who later invest in other technology sectors.
The current administration has offered little support to technology-based companies, and such a project, laughable as it may sound, could change this trend. Even if the social network could not compete with Facebook or Twitter, it would allow many Mexican developers to obtain first-hand experience in the field, which would make the country more attractive for technological investment.