Mexico’s leader takes new shot at Twitter in continuing spat

MEXICO CITY (AP) — President Andrés Manuel López Obrador continued his spat with Twitter on Wednesday, accusing one of the companies’ representatives in Mexico of having previously worked for politicians of the conservative opposition National Action Party.

López Obrador suggested the social media company might be biased, and he displayed a resume that he said showed the executive’s previous work for National Action senators and ex-President Felipe Calderon.

While López Obrador didn’t name the executive, it was a clear reference to Twitter’s public affairs director for Mexico and Latin America, Hugo Rodriguez.

“We just hope he does his job professionally, and doesn’t create bot farms,” López Obrador said, referring to robot accounts the president believes are responsible for criticism of him. The Mexican leader was close to former U.S. President Donald Trump and protested Twitter’s decision to suspend Trump’s account.

Twitter responded, calling the accusation “regrettable.”

“No person at Twitter is responsible, by themselves, for our policies or compliance actions, and it is regrettable to see comments directed at our employees as if they were solely responsible for the company’s rules or decisions,” according to the Twitter Mexico account.

Last week, López Obrador vowed to lead an international effort to combat what he considers censorship by social media companies that have blocked or suspended Trump’s accounts, and promised to bring the issue up at the next G-20 summit.

Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said Mexico has started to contact other countries on the issues, and has heard from officials in France, Germany, the European Union, Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

“The president’s orders are to make contact with all of them, share this concern and work on coming up with a joint proposal,” Ebrard said. “We will see what is proposed.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is among those who have publicly criticized the action against Trump. Her spokesman said the German leader found it “problematic” that corporate managers could deny someone access under rules not defined by law.

Like Trump, López Obrador thinks traditional media outlets are biased against him, and like Trump, the Mexican president has used the term “fake news,” or Spanish variants of it.

López Obrador seldom tweets, but has a regular, home, folksy presence on Facebook, where he often posts videos of himself playing baseball, giving “fireside chats” to the nation, or showing off landscapes, traditional Mexican foods or landscapes he is proud of.

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