‘Violating our right to inform’: Twitter suspends Venezuelan Presidential Press account

‘Violating our right to inform’: Twitter suspends Venezuelan Presidential Press account
Twitter has suspended the official account of the Venezuelan government’s press team, reportedly without giving any explanation. The suspension is the latest in a series of social media strikes against Venezuelan media outlets.

“They blocked our Twitter account of the Presidential Press, they flagrantly violate our right to inform, we demand immediate reinstatement,” Minister for Communication Jorge Rodriguez tweeted on Tuesday.

The Presidential Press profile has more than one million followers. Monday’s suspension is not the first such event: in October 2017, President Maduro denounced an apparent campaign to limit the reach of his posts on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, TeleSUR reported.

While it is unclear if the events are connected, the suspension comes amid a wider clampdown by social media companies on anti-Western and alternative media. In August, Facebook abruptly removed the page of TeleSUR English, a Latin-American news network part-funded by the Venezuelan government. The removal was accompanied by the vague explanation that TeleSUR had breached Facebook’s terms of use.

The apparent censorship of TeleSUR came less than a week after the social media giant deleted the page of Venezuelanalysis, an outlet that offered leftist commentary on Latin American affairs. Though Facebook reinstated the page, Venezuelanalysis received no apology or explanation for its removal.

While accusations of bias and censorship by Silicon Valley tech companies have mostly come from conservatives in the US, a growing number of left-wing sites have felt the squeeze too. Journalist Abby Martin, who hosted ‘The Empire Files’ on TeleSUR told RT that big tech’s censorship efforts are “literally curating our reality and trying to paint anything that challenges this establishment narrative as conspiracy theories, as disinformation, as Russian trolls.”

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