Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador acknowledged the presence of bots on social media today in a press conference at the Palacio Nacional, an important step forward to addressing the problem.

Screenshot via verified YouTube of Andrés Manuel López Obrador

In a press conference this morning in the Palacio Nacional, the Mexican President addressed a long-standing issue in Mexican social media: bots.

He called for companies to stop the commercialization of bots as a matter of ethics but also clarified that it should not be about censorship and that freedom of expression should not be impeded.

“We are not going to censor social media networks, absolutely not, but we do make a respectful call to the companies that market in social networks to see if there may be a mechanism that prevents — without censorship — the hiring of bots, because contracts are made.

So, yes, mercantilism, but with ethics; yes to commercialism, yes to freedom, no to censorship, yes to ethics. Find a way, because bots or robots for social networks and others are hired. So, that must be avoided and Facebook and Twitter have to take care of it, because sometimes it’s very evident in some cases.

So, it is not censorship, it’s that companies must also have an ethical dimension. That’s what I propose for this, so that it’s not misinterpreted. Always freedom, as long as they are not campaigns and much less paid with public money, because before they were paid with money that belonged to all Mexicans.”

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1. Is Chatbot a synonym for great Customer Experience?

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4. Chatbot Conference 2019 in NYC

https://medium.com/media/10af621a4f9f67ee44ff357f727a950d/href

Reactions to his comments on social media seemed mostly positive.

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🥊 AMLO vs the bots 🥊

AMLO says that without censoring anyone, he would ask internet companies like Twitter and Facebook to do something against the bots that are used for dirty campaigns.

Booom 👊

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AMLO takes an important step in talking about the problem of bots that became a manipulation industry 🤖🤖🤖 and can be a national security problem

Both the president’s wife, Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller, and his 2018 campaign manager, Tatiana Clouthier, recently commented on bots:

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What a surprise the amount of fake accounts or bots. They’ve increased in an unmeasured way. Happy day to the real people.

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It’s true, it’s impressive. And a full business for @TwitterLatAm @TwitterSeguro because, besides, the level of verbal violence grows without the people responsible for that company flinching. Happy Sunday, Tatiana!

Other people had more negative reactions, insisting that they are real people criticizing AMLO and they deny that they are bots.

As I was looking through tweets about AMLO’s comments on bots… I stumbled across some bots. The below tweets repeat a news headline but omit the link. Several Mexican news outlets have used the headline “AMLO asks companies to stop bots due to ethics” so these bots are repeating that headline.

Via Twitter

These accounts are what I normally call “media bots” — in a general sense that they’re tweeting a news headline but it’s not clear who is operating the bots or if they are even connected to any real media organization but they are clearly echoing news headlines.

W E L P

In a Wednesday edition of Big Data de la Semana, Carlos Paez, CEO of Mesura, told Carmen Aristegui that today’s press conference is a positive step forward — recognizing that bots exist.

“In a speech just 1–2 weeks ago, the social coordinator of the presidency denied the existence of bots. Today AMLO says that they exist and he made a call to avoid them, so this is the first part of the problem. I think we are starting to move forward in the rational discussion of the issue it was very important to move away from “they do not exist” — Carlos Paez

https://medium.com/media/2ca80997c0ce886e6563a93f14e7eba2/href

Two studies published by LoQueSigue and Signa Lab in February 2019 caused a backlash online as they confirmed that suspicious accounts were operating on social media in favor of AMLO and attacking critics and journalists.

Legions of legitimate AMLO fans took serious offense to being called bots however it’s become evident that bots are being used to support all political parties and are not exclusive to the previous administration which made the term “peñabots” infamous.

Acknowledging there is a problem is the first step, how will social media platforms respond to the Mexican President’s request?

Don’t forget to give us your 👏 !

https://medium.com/media/7078d8ad19192c4c53d3bf199468e4ab/href


Mexican President recognizes the existence of bots in social media networks; calls for ethics was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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