Boric administration establish commission by decree to fight misinformation, faces oppositions

The administration of President Gabriel Boric is facing criticism after creating an Advisory Commission to fight against misinformation. The initiative was published on June 20 in the Official Diary. But oppositions said this commission is a threat to democracy.

The Boric administration created an Advisory Commission by decree to combat misinformation on June 20. The order saw a wave of opposition from opposition parties. Critics also said there was a lack of discussion regarding the establishment of the commission.

The Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge, and Innovation will lead the commission, and its members will be made up of academics, investigators from private and state universities, representatives from the civil society and from fact-checking organizations, Boric said.

The members will “analyze and evaluate the global phenomenon of disinformation on digital platforms, its manifestation in Chile, and its impact in the democratic process,” government spokesperson Camila Vallejo said in a tweet on June 20.

The commission, however, came with backlashes from opposition parties. Ximena Rincón, a senator for the Maule region and a democrat, said that the administration’s action should be discussed with Congress, which is the governmental body that represents democracy, Rincón tweeted on June 21.

“Selecting a group of people who favor the current government, to decide how to exercise these freedoms, is openly restrictive,” said Rincón.

Camila Flores is a deputy of the Chamber of Deputies and a member of the National Renewal political party. Flores said it is worrying that the Boric administration looks to institutional mechanisms to determine what is true and what’s not.

The commission will undermine a fundamental right, which is the freedom of expression, and also poses a threat to a free press, said Luciano Cruz-Coke, senator for Evópoli. “We will reach all the necessary instances, including the Constitucional Court, precisely to safeguard and protect those basic rights of a democracy,” Cruz-Coke said.

Also read:

“Denialism” among opposition parties leads to concerns within government coalition

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