La Jornada – Infodemia: An Unprecedented Workout

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador yesterday inaugurated Who’s Who in the Lies of the Week, which will be broadcast every Wednesday as his government’s response mechanism for displaying “fake news” that is exposed in the media and social networks. He informed the Chair that the response would be accepted, and expressed his expectation that this space would contribute to enriching public life through debate. For her part, Ana Elizabeth García Velches, who is responsible for presenting this segment and who “will be nominated as Director of Public Coordination Networks for Social Communication and Spokesperson for the Presidency”, declared that the goal is to “communicate the truth so that the people of Mexico can exercise their right of access to information “for” Configure a standard with certainty.”

The passage begins with exercises to “verify” statements of government officials made by various media in Mexico and other countries, but reflects the terms of the equation: in this case, it is the public authority that examines and presents inaccuracies or inconsistencies emanating from private platforms. This investment is controversial and has been the target of multiple criticisms for its alleged “truth hoarding” or “indiscriminate killing”, but it seems a good idea to offer citizens the possibility to have different perspectives to assess and shape their own criteria for government action.

The truth is that there is a socio-political moment in which the ways of the media often misunderstand the boundaries between data and opinion, between rumor and facts, and thus lead to the systematic construction of fallacies that distort reality. Because of the lack of care in dealing with information, hoaxes manufactured in social networks jump without a journalist’s presentation of television newscasts, radio programs or print media; Otherwise, they go in the opposite direction: the method of supposed seriousness lends credence to false news that subsequently spreads in the hypothetical realm.

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In this context, the latest extraordinary gesture of a government that is characterized by adopting measures and approaches unprecedented in previous governments is taking place. This should come as no surprise given that the so-called Fourth Shift came to power precisely with a promise to distance itself from previous administrations’ red tape.

Not because it is so unusual, the exercise which is no longer of value, without imposing any form of censorship or affecting anyone’s freedom of expression, brings into the field of public debate ways of recounting national events that undoubtedly deviated from reality. In this sense, it should seem healthy to all concerned that in the context of democracy and liberties, the space for discussion on issues of national interest should be expanded and expanded.

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