Monday, June 24, 2024

AMLO criticizes Twitter for limiting reach of tweets by Russian state media

President López Obrador accused Twitter of censorship for its handling of tweets by Russian state media at his morning news conference on Tuesday.

Twitter added explanatory labels to tweets by the state controlled media organizations RT and Sputnik and reduced the visibility of the tweets on the platform in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

López Obrador said the practice was tantamount to censorship. “I wish Twitter would clarify this matter, because it is very serious. [The labels] are like a kind of stamp of approval for the opinion that people have … Since yesterday there are allegations that whoever has a favorable opinion of Russia is removed or a label is put on their account. That is censorship,” he said.

The president said his position was fundamentally political. “No to censorship, no to authoritarianism … preventing people from expressing themselves and demonstrating is all contrary to freedom,” he said.

Google and Facebook have banned Russian state controlled media from advertising on their platforms while YouTube announced Tuesday it was banning the RT and Sputnik channels in Europe.

Meanwhile, the president said Mexico wouldn’t implement any sanctions against Russia in order to maintain good relations and promote dialogue. Many western nations have retaliated against Russia by blocking Russian banks’ access to money abroad, while oil and gas companies have abandoned partnerships with Russian companies and shipping companies are refusing to carry freight to and from Russia.

“We are not going to do any economic retaliation because we want to maintain good relations with all the governments of the world, and we want to be in a position to be able to talk to the parties about the conflict.”

He added that the government hadn’t had sustained contact with Russia or Ukraine, but said it was in favor of humanitarian aid for the latter. “We have already set out our position at the United Nations Security Council and we are promoting humanitarian aid to reach Ukraine through the UN, but we can’t do any more.

“We think that the best thing is to promote dialogue to promote peace,” he said.

However, the president condemned the invasion more than once in the last week and compared the plight of Ukraine to Mexico’s struggles against France, Spain and the United States through the centuries.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard condemned the invasion more directly on Thursday after the president appeared reluctant to do so at his press conference earlier in the day: “Our main position is to reject the use of force and vigorously condemn the presence of Russian Federation forces in Ukrainian territory,” he said.

Ebrard announced on Friday that the Mexican Air Force would fly to Romania to pick up Mexicans who have fled Ukraine and wish to return to Mexico.

With reports from Reforma and El Universal

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