Freedom of access to social networks for Venezuelans

Can Venezuelan users' free access to social networks be at risk? This is what emerges from the reports launched by several Latin American associations and organizations in recent days. All this after Juan Guaidó ensured his continuity at the head of the Venezuelan National Assembly.

The origin of the controversyIn

particular, it was the NGO NetBlocks, which is dedicated fundamentally to studying cases of deprivation of freedom of expression within the Internet, which states that the digital rights of Venezuelans have been undermined in recent months with respect to the use of social networks such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. But NetBlocks goes much further in this controversy, accusing CANTV, the state's main Internet provider, of limiting users' access to Facebook. It's interesting to note that this social network, created by Mark Zuckerberg well over a decade ago, has recently committed itself to fighting 'deepfakes' or fake videos that are viralized through its platform and that aim to change public opinion around the interests of a particular group.

But why these cuts?

The truth is that many explanations are being given for the events described in social networks without any of them being totally convincing.

For example, the Infobae portal assures that these cuts and interruptions have been due to an attempt to complicate the broadcasting of free messages by Venezuelans during the dates before and after the re-election of Juan Guaidó as president of the Venezuelan National Assembly. It should not be forgotten that he is already recognized by more than fifty countries as the legitimate leader of the country, while other sources have attributed these interruptions to a security issue related to a police action inside a hotel where several opposition deputies close to Guaidó were staying. Specifically, the reason was a bomb threat. It is said that CANTV temporarily suspended the service to favour the police task and that it did not receive the 'ok' to return to normal service until 10:30 am.

In other words, Venezuelans were unable to access their social network profiles for more than two and a half hours. Fortunately, many media and organizations have denounced this event and have managed to bring it to the attention of the country's inhabitants and the international community.