In the days following the violent insurrection at the US Capitol building, Facebook, Twitter and Google suspended the social media accounts of then-President Donald Trump, in Twitter's case permanently. The "deplatforming" of the US leader is an unprecedented step by social media platforms against what they considered incitement of violence. Many welcomed the measures and were quick to call for similar actions against other political figures. Critics, including some foreign leaders, questioned the authority of private companies to make such consequential decisions, with Mexican President López Obrador claiming Trump was "censored."
What are the implications for online speech of the decision to deplatform the US president? Should social media companies consider similar steps with respect to political leaders in Latin America? And what kind of regulatory approaches might countries in the region consider in response to the deplatforming development?
Luminate's Gabriela Hadid moderated this conversation with Michael Camilleri (Director, Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program, Inter-American Dialogue), Pedro Vaca (Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights), Vanessa Rubio (Professor in Practice at LSE and former Senator and Deputy Minister of Mexico), Mariana Valente (Director, InternetLab), and Javier Pallero (Global Policy Director, Access Now).
Following the event, Gabriela Hadid and Felipe Estefan shared their perspective on the power of social media platforms in The Inter-American Dialogue's Latin America Advisor.