Mexican President YouTube suspension act of 'political censorship'
Mexico's Presidential spokesperson Jesús Cuevas says the Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been using YouTube in order to reach working-class Mexican citizens and bypass major news outlets serving the interests of Mexico's wealthiest.
YouTube suspended Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s official account, upon which he relies heavily to communicate with working-class Mexican citizens.
The act was dubbed political censorship by the Presidential spokesperson Jesús Cuevas who wrote on his Twitter account "With no apparent justification, YouTube suspended the account of CEPROPIE [Center for the Production of News and Special Programs], which broadcasts the official morning press conferences," adding that, "we demand that the platform respects the official accounts for broadcasting the president’s conferences.”
The daily morning press briefings have become an essential component of the president's communication strategy allowing him to circumvent the country's major news outlets, which he claims exclusively serve the interests of the wealthy.
Lopez Obrador has leveraged his YouTube channel to become, as of last month, Mexico's most-watched figure and the sixth's most popular streamer in the Spanish-speaking world.
Cuevas explained that the suspension could significantly hinder the President's ability to get his message through to the people, an act that could amount to an "unintentional censorship strategy."
"It is more about censorship than economics because they take down the livestream, they take down the [press] conference, and that is the effect it achieves," Cuevas said Wednesday, noting, "If the platform does not investigate and immediately and permissively takes down the images, it is resorting to an unintentional censorship strategy."
Additionally, the justifications for the suspension must be fabricated, Cuevas stressed, because "there is nothing but the president's opinions and original material" on the channel and "There is nothing that anyone can claim the rights to regarding those images."
In turn, Lopez Obrador has denounced the suspension as a "bad sign" for freedom of expression saying “I don’t like anybody being censored or having the right to post a message on Twitter or Facebook taken away."
Moreover, the Mexican President highlighted "I don’t agree with that, I don’t accept that," Lopez explaining that the suspension resembled "a court of censorship like the Inquisition to manage public opinion."