The Brazilian government has approved an initiative by Mexico to protest, within the framework of the G20, against the decision of social networks to block accounts linked to Donald Trump, former US president.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ernesto Araújo, raised the subject during a telephone interview with the Mexican Chancellor, Marcelo Ebrard, Tuesday (2).
“In the great conversation with Chancellor Marcelo Ebrard of Mexico, we stayed to work together at the G20 for internet freedom of expression – a priority for Brazil since the start of government and even more so now because of the risk that networks become an instrument of social control, ”Ernesto wrote on Twitter after the conversation.
Itamaraty’s official report on the platform, in turn, underlined that Ernesto and Ebrard “converge on the urgency of working in the G20 and other forums in favor of freedom of expression in the networks” .
Although the posts do not quote the former US president, the debate gained momentum in Brazil and Mexico after digital platforms – including Twitter and Facebook – excluded profiles linked to Trump.
In addition, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador launched the initiative at the G20 in direct response to the corporate blockade against the Republican.
Social media made the decision after Americans prompted protesters to invade the United States Congress on Jan.6, during a certification session for Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.
The episode had scenes of violence and ended with five deaths. The acts are treated by members of the Democratic Party as an attempted coup.
López Obrador has been one of the main critics of the network’s decision to limit Trump’s posts. He said companies cannot “suspend free speech” and compared the platforms’ action to the Inquisition.
“I put forward that at the first meeting that we will have of the G20, I will raise this question. Social networks should not be used to incite violence, but it cannot be a reason to suspend freedom of expression It should not be used as an excuse, we should guarantee freedom, not censorship, ”the Mexican said in January.
López Obrador is a leftist leader, but he had a good relationship with the former US president.
During the presidential campaign there, he traveled to Washington to meet with Trump, on a program seen by critics as an attempt by the American to improve his image with the Mexican electorate.
The Mexican president was also one of the last international leaders to congratulate Biden on his victory, in a gesture shared by Jair Bolsonaro (non-party).
Interlocutors consulted by Folha say that there is still no additional information on how the Mexico-Brazil action against the social media decision would unfold at the G20.
The forum usually focuses its statements on economic issues, as it is difficult to achieve consensus in the political field. This is because the G20 brings together an array of governments ranging from Western democracies like the United States and Germany to authoritarian regimes in China and Saudi Arabia.
Members of the Bolsonaro administration also stress that the issue is not yet on the agenda of the preparatory meetings of the G20. The summit is scheduled for the end of October in Rome.
Trump’s ban on digital platforms mobilized the ideological wing of the government, which protested the move.
On the day Twitter announced the measure, Ernesto posted an excerpt from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on freedom of opinion and expression in his account.
Bolsonaro’s international adviser Filipe Martins also criticized the action.
“Donald Trump is permanently banned from Twitter. In the courts of large corporations, there are no clear criteria, respect for local laws or guarantees of due process. If they do it to the American president, it what they will not do against ordinary citizens without defense resources? ”he wrote.
The action of the networks has been called into question even by critics of Trump.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for example, expressed concern over Twitter’s decision and said it was “problematic”. A spokesperson for the German leader stressed that the right to freedom of opinion was “of fundamental importance”.