Mexico’s president voices misgivings over Twitter’s Trump ban
January 12, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The populist and left-leaning president of Mexico said he does not like anybody “being censored” on social media in light of U.S. president Donald Trump being banned from Twitter and Facebook late last week.
“I always say what I think, something that I did not like yesterday about the Capitol affair, nothing more than respect, respect. But I don’t like censorship. I don’t like anyone being censored or taking away the right to transmit a message on Twitter or Face[book]. I do not agree with that; I do not accept that,” said Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador last Thursday at a press conference, as translated from Spanish to English.
“We all have to limit ourselves and guarantee freedom. How is it that I censor you and you can no longer transmit if we are for freedoms?”
Twitter alleged that Trump broke the platform’s Glorification of Violence policy, which limits posts that “glorify, celebrate, praise or condone violent crimes, violent events where people were targeted because of their membership in a protected group[.]”
Facebook and its subsidiary, s subsidiary, Instagram, said they were banning Trump “indefinitely” as well.
López made comments about social media censorship as part of a long answer in response to whether he was interested in monetizing his popular official government YouTube channel.
He responded that he does not like the idea of monetizing his channel, as he is a “public official, a public servant.”
His answer then drifted to the topic of the censorship of Trump by Twitter and Facebook.
“How can you censor someone? ‘Let’s see, I, as the judge of the Holy Inquisition, will punish you because I think what you’re saying is harmful.’ ... Where is the law, where is the regulation, what are the norms? This is an issue of government; this is not an issue for private companies,” said López.
“Imagine that Twitter as a company decides: ‘You do not — because what you are saying is harmful, harmful or damaging, it goes against the good customs of the police and good government side.’ Let’s say that, because if social networks are censored, what will be left? ... So freedom is fully expressed on social media[.] ... If there begins to be censorship, there is cause for concern.”
In November of 2020, Obrador said Mexico “cannot act recklessly” in congratulating Joe Biden as the “potential” winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential elections until official results were posted.
He was one of the last world leaders to congratulate Joe Biden, doing so only in late December, having sent a letter to Biden to congratulate him on his “triumph.”
According to an AP report about López’s remarks regarding censorship, his confidant and spokesperson Jesús Ramírez said the censorship of Trump from social media means there should be a call for a “debate” on free thought on the internet and the role of social media giants.
“Facebook’s decision to silence the current leader of the United States calls for a debate on freedom of expression, the free exchange of information on the web, democracy and the role of the companies that administer [social] networks,” said Ramírez.
Last Wednesday, Trump gave a speech to a large crowd at the White House Ellipse in Washington, D.C. saying, “We will never concede when theft is involved” regarding the 2020 presidential elections.
Trump’s speech took place as a joint session of Congress was being held to certify the results of the Electoral College’s votes.
Shortly after speaking, the vast majority of participants at the rally marched peacefully to the Capitol to voice their concerns over alleged election fraud claimed by Trump.
A small number of protesters stormed the Capitol Building, some with alleged ties to Antifa. A few of them made it inside, seemingly without going through any security. This resulted in the joint session of Congress being promptly postponed, with politicians inside ushered away to an undisclosed location.
A video that has over 33 million views apparently shows U.S. Capitol Police quietly relinquishing erected barricades, allowing a few protesters to access the Capitol Building.
In the early hours of January 7, Congress confirmed the electoral vote for Joe Biden as the next president of the U.S. Trump then said he would commit to an “an orderly transition” of power.
Trump later told the protesters on Capitol Hill to go home “in peace,” a message Twitter promptly flagged with the message, “This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can’t be replied to, retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence.”
Trump also denounced the protesters who had entered the U.S. Capitol, calling the action “heinous.”
In one of his last tweets before his account was shut down, Trump said he will not be attending the inauguration of Biden next week.
As for López, he noted that he is not planning on attending Biden’s inauguration, either.
The AP report also notes that López was hesitant to provide a comment regarding last Wednesday’s events at the Capitol in D.C., stating that his administration does not “meddle in the affairs of other nations.”
López is not the only high-profile world leader to question the social media ban of Trump from Twitter. Recently, German chancellor Angela Merkel declared that she found the ban “problematic.”