Bolivian Senate proposes law to regulate social networks

The Bolivian Senate has proposed a bill that would regulate social networks, and would be attached to the Law to Fight Against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination, reported the news site Eju TV.

The anti-racism law was heavily criticized by journalists when it was approved in October 2010. Journalists say the law violates freedom of expression and instills self-censorship.

The idea to regulate social networks, presented by a lawmaker from the Movement Towards Socialism, Galo Bonifaz, and by the president of the Senate, Gabriela Montaño, caused much criticism among opposition who claim that this law would violate freedom of expression in the country, reported the newspaper La Opinión.

According to the newspaper La Razón, lawmakers say the law is “necessary because it is about restraining discrimination and racism” that occurs on the Internet. But mostly, as Montaño said, this law would avoid "discriminatory and offensive acts" against President Evo Morales, reported La Opinión.

On numerous occasions President Morales said that the news media is against him. In fact, the president is constantly trying to find ways to regulate the press. Because of this and the multiple attacks against journalists in Bolivia – the majority of which are at the hand of government supporters – on April 23, the Inter American Press Association described Morales' administration as one of the most "arbitrary and intolerant" against the press in Latin America.