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Mexico invites Twitter boss to talk about fighting fake news

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador yesterday announced his formal invitation to the head of Twitter Inc to come to Mexico to talk about controlling bots and fighting the spread of fake news on social media.

The Mexican president disputes that political opponents keep exploiting automated accounts known as bots to flood social media with disinformation and fake stories that appear to be news while attacking his government.

On the other hand, he has also more than once expressed his admiration for what he refers to as the “blessed social networks.”

Image credit Reuters, Henry Romero

“We’re going to invite the head of Twitter here, he is officially invited,” the president said to a regular news conference.

“So that he can tell us what to do to control the bots and fake news,” he added. “What are the limits? Why are these bots, which denigrate public life, used to insult, to show lack of respect toward people, allowed?”

It was not clear if Lopez Obrador was referring to Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey or not.

In the run-up to Lopez Obrador’s July 2018 presidential election, his campaign was severely hit with a barrage of attacks and criticism of the leftist party leader.

The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City. Image credit Reuters, Brendan McDermid

Dorsey also met privately with academics and senior journalists after the 2016 U.S. election, which former New York Times editor Bill Keller, who attended one meeting, called an “ahead-of-the-pack effort” to cope with fake news and constant virtual abuses.

Twitter has been trying to restrict content policies for several years after recognizing rampant social network abuse. Yet, critics over the years have emphasised that the company has been too slow to act, even though it has accelerated its efforts in the last year.


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