MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday at his daily press conference that he and his team do not use bots to promote their political views on social media.
Lopez Obrador, who made the remarks in response to a study released this week, also criticized some members of the media as disingenuous, saying that “they’re conservatives who pretend to be liberal, who specialize in dissimulation.”
A study conducted by the Jesuit University of Guadalajara and released Tuesday found that during Lopez Obrador’s first 100 days in office his Twitter followers launched different attacks and campaigns to ridicule certain journalists and media outlets.
“An example of that have been trending hashtags like #PrensaFifi or #Chayoteros, which openly encourage Twitter users to come together” to either defend the president or attack his critics, the study says.
Lopez Obrador said in response that the ongoing debate in the press is “very interesting.”
“No more masks. No more (feigning to be) independent, objective and professional, (that) I have no party and I don’t represent anyone. It’s better to say what your position is and for us to exercise our right to respond,” the leftist president added.
Lopez Obrador also said he does not use bots on social media to gain followers or disseminate his messages and ideas.
“We don’t have ‘bots.’ This is one of those conservative topics. Their real doctrine is hypocrisy,” he said.
The leader of the National Regeneration Movement (Morena) said his administration will never “go after anyone or curtail freedom of expression.”
Lopez Obrador added that he thinks this week’s controversy has been a positive thing because it will lead everyone to act with a greater sense of responsibility.
“It’s good the study from this university was released. But it’s not true that there’s a group we’re promoting to defend us from our critics,” he said.
On Monday, Lopez Obrador said he has had no problems with the media in his first 100 days and thanked reporters for their coverage of his daily press conferences at the National Palace, saying their presence has been an example of “dedication, perseverance and professionalism.”
Nevertheless, on several occasions he has criticized Mexico’s “fifi” press, a derogatory term he uses for media outlets with a highbrow, conservative editorial line that appeal to Mexico’s upper classes, accusing them of fabricating or distorting information.