With Elon Musk buying Twitter and declaring principles about freedom of expression and how the social network should be its standard bearer, what will the immediate future hold for those who made this platform in Cuba an armed wing against the right of the opposition?
“Freedom of speech is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the public digital arena where issues vital to the future of humanity are discussed,” the Tesla owner said in a statement announcing the network’s purchase. dollar.
The Cuban government criminalized dissent with laws penalizing those who spread ideas contrary to those imposed by the “revolution” on social networks and independent media. On the other hand, it employs an army of computer scientists to spread its propaganda and defend “socialism” through false profiles.
With the monopoly of the country’s only telecommunications company, ETECSA, authorities have an easy time controlling, identifying and blocking the dissemination of content on the network. Internet access is dosed systematically and filtered for this purpose.
In 2019, Twitter suspended the accounts of senior members of the Cuban government, including former President Raul Castro and his daughter Mariela Castro. This action did not stop the Havana regime’s quest to turn social networks into another front of an “ideological battle.” The account of Castro’s designated successor, Miguel Diaz-Canel, has been active since August 2018. His wife, Liz Cuesta, recently followed in his footsteps.
Granted for jokes, and now in their digital form (memes), Cubans have dubbed these humanoid robots “cyberclairs,” beings that seem to have no place in the Musk-style Twitter world.
The billionaire, who joined Twitter in June 2009 and has more than 85 million followers, said he hopes his worst critics will stay on the platform, “because that’s what freedom of speech,” but not spam bots, is for those with declared war.
Here’s a promise from Musk: “If our Twitter show works, we’ll defeat the spam bots or die trying.”
For Cubans with critical opinions about the situation on the island, human rights activists or political opponents, social networks, especially Twitter and Facebook, in Cuba were the public arena that Musk was talking about.
In July 2021, a local demonstration turned into a mass demonstration in several cities in the country after it was broadcast on the networks. The government cracked down on protesters and imprisoned hundreds of them and tried them on alleged charges of “public order,” “disrespect,” and even “incitement to strife.” Those who informed the world of what was happening in Cuba in #11J, were tracked down and arrested days later. The videos, photos and statements they posted served as evidence against them in court.
Back in March, the hashtag #SOSCuba was once again a trend on Twitter Cuba, he explains in an article for Independent Project Inventory.
The user who lit the flame, @UnPoetaAhí, defended his identity: “Living under a dictatorship, we have no choice but to use anonymity and orientation to highlight our situation,” he wrote on his account.
The ruling party, which has taken its repressive forces on alert, responded with concern: “#VamosConTodo”.
Days later, @UnPoetaAhí pointed out: “The hashtag won’t make us free, but it’s a symbol that we’re more united, and that’s about dictatorship, because when we’re together anything is possible, if not, ask #11J.”
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