- The Washington Times - Friday, January 15, 2021

President Trump has a strong ally in Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador when it comes to reining in the power and influence of Silicon Valley.

Mr. López Obrador blasted social media giants this week in the wake of Mr. Trump’s bans on various platforms.

“I can tell you that at the first G20 meeting we have, I am going to make a proposal on this issue,” he said Thursday.

At issue are the decisions made by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and his industry peers to silence Mr. Trump after chaos at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

“I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here,” Mr. Dorsey wrote Wednesday. “After a clear warning we’d take this action, we made a decision with the best information we had based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter. Was this correct? I believe this was the right decision for Twitter.”

Still, Mr. Dorsey acknowledged that banning high-profile figures like Mr. Trump “sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation.”

Mr. López Obrador, however, sees the move as an infringement on the spirit of free speech.

“Yes, social media should not be used to incite violence and all that, but this cannot be used as a pretext to suspend freedom of expression,” he said. “How can a company act as if it was all-powerful, omnipotent, as a sort of Spanish Inquisition on what is expressed?”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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