Mexican newspaper denounces use of social media to harass journalists by governor's office

A Mexican newspaper in the state of San Luis Potosí revealed an audio recording that supposedly catches the governor's spokesman telling his staff to create anonymous social media profiles to dispute inconvenient information, according to the newspaper Pulso de San Luis.

One day before, the same newspaper claimed that the state government communications office used social media to harass journalists and media organizations that published information critical of the current administration, according to the website Sin Embargo.

According to the newspaper Pulso de San Luis, the attacks stopped after the publication released a list of fake Twitter accounts used to defame and discredit journalists.

This is not the first time in Mexico that the media has revealed politicians' strategies to challenge information circulating on social networks. During the most recent presidential election, a YouTube video explained how then-candidate Enrique Peña Nieto's communications team organized a group of young people to create dummy Twitter accounts with the intention of counteracting negative comments prior to the May 6, 2012 debate, according to CNN México.

A recent study by the newspaper La Jornada said that Twitter and Facebook have become very popular among Mexico's governors but in many cases upwards of 70 percent of the their followers are fake or inactive.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.