June 23, 2020 / 7:33 PM / 11 days ago

Mexican president to invite Twitter boss to talk about fighting fake news

MEXICO CITY, June 23 (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday he would invite the head of Twitter Inc to Mexico to talk about controlling bots and fighting the spread of fake news on social media.

Lopez Obrador argues that political opponents use automated accounts known as bots to flood social media with disinformation and false stories that appear to be news while attacking his government.

But he also regularly expresses his admiration for what he refers to as the “blessed social networks.”

“We’re going to invite the head of Twitter here, he is formally invited,” the president told a regular news conference.

“So he can tell us what to do to control the bots and fake news,” he added. “What are the limits? Why are these bots, which denigrate public life, are used to insult, to show lack of respect toward people, allowed?”

It was not immediately clear if Lopez Obrador was referring to Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey.

In the run-up to Lopez Obrador’s July 2018 presidential election, his campaign was hit with a barrage of attacks and criticism of the leftist leader.

Dorsey met privately with academics and senior journalists after the 2016 U.S. election, which former New York Times editor Bill Keller, who attended one meeting, called an “ahead-of-the-pack effort” to cope with fake news and abuse.

Twitter has been tightening content policies for several years after recognizing rampant abuse. Critics say the company was slow to act initially but has accelerated its efforts in the last year. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Tom Brown)

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