Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Saturday, January 11, 2020

On social media, cancel drug cartels: Make Facebook and Twitter purge content from violent criminal organizations

Chivis Martinez   Borderland Beat   Source

I feel somewhat differently for the same reasons why we post graphic violence.  It is an ongoing debate.  Initially I did complain to Buggs about the graphic content, he explained the policy and why.  I came to agree.
Bottom line Mexican press is not free to publish at will, and some states are narco news blackout states, leaving social media to be the bearer of such news.  A picture is worth a thousand words as they say and clearly images will stay with a person far longer than text.....I strongly defend the press; 

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances".  We may not like what some elect to publish, but defending the right is paramount to defending the rights of all.....what say you?


President Trump has called for an all-out assault on violent Mexican drug cartels and the brutal MS-13 street gang. Therefore, it is hard to understand why the White House has included language in the USMCA trade agreement that would give social media platforms broad immunity for hosting user-generated content.

At first glance, these two issues may seem unrelated. But in fact, Mexican drug cartels and MS-13 have incorporated social media into their strategies, just like ISIS, using the internet as a literal force multiplier and also to intimidate, stalk and extort.

Much like Hollywood celebrities, Mexican cartels have vast social media followings. The notorious Sinaloa Cartel has more than 88,000 followers on Twitter, for example, while Los Zetas, an uber-violent Mexican cartel that has broadcast murders on YouTube, has a Facebook universe with approximately 47,000 connected accounts like these.

To some extent, young, net-savvy criminals are using social media the same way as young people everywhere: to document and brag about their lives. Instagram and Twitter posts featuring cash, gold plated guns, luxury cars and even pet tigers are a powerful lure for jobless young men who see the gangster life as a path out of drudgery.

Social media also provides strategic value for criminal cartels, allowing them to disseminate intimidating messages to the public and authorities on a far wider scale than they ever had before, and to broadcast warnings and threats to rivals and potential rivals. Drug cartels and gangs also send threatening messages directly to government authorities and civilians alike, using encrypted systems like WhatsApp and Facebook messenger.

Activities in cyberspace drive violence in real life. In one horrifying 2014 event, a Mexican physician who often tweeted about the drug war was herself murdered, with her killers using her own Twitter account to announce her death and broadcast grisly images of her dead body. This violence has often spilled into the United States, in particular with MS-13 using the internet to identify victims, and lure them to their death.

For U.S. law enforcement, the cross-border nature of this criminal activity presents a big challenge. But since most major social media firms are based in the United States or are listed on stock markets here, there’s one area where our government could have supreme authority: over the internet.

Instead, a quarter-century-old law continues to provide broad immunity to internet firms, even when they knowingly host and spread content uploaded by drug cartels, violent gangs, terrorists and other illegal groups.


  1. As much as cartel members glamorizing their lifestyles on social media may be a negative influence on youth, I would hate to see the day when that content is wiped from the net. We have learned so much about these organizations from what is posted on social media, and losing this resource would reduce our knowledge of cartels.

    1. Good point. We had MelanNation a.k.a CarbonNation here in our village Feb 26-May 27, 2018. It was their own published videos that revealed them.

  2. Fools shouting for cencorship are the same fools who will lament they opened their mouths,governments dont stop once they have a green light,have we not learned this?

  3. Its funny in the same context we cry about about news blackouts,then want a kind of limited censorship,how far do you want to go once started on this road,leave it to governments and authority and we will regret it

  4. I respectfully disagree

  5. The truth is a motherfucker. And not everyone wants to hear it unless it’s convenient for them to hear it. Ban something anywhere and more than likely it'll be another platform where it gets posted.

    1. Ban lies and deceit, some one wants to post BS should be ready to pay a big fine kf he is proven to he a liar, The New York Times printed on the first plane every little falsehood about Hillary before the election, and now that the US DOJO has found NO EVIDENCE and said so, the NYT PRINTS IT IN A SMALL REPORT BURIED ON THE BACK PAGES, no apologies either...

  6. Excellent commentary, Chivas.

  7. No lo alvido los maestros 43.

    1. Selective amnesia and choosing to self censure, along with shameless lying should he fined irregardless of the intentions, certified lie detectors and fact checkers should be made billionaires for their troubles with rewards...

  8. NO censorship - ever. If it isn't illegal, it should be online.

  9. Follow the money...who would profit and how.

    But as Sol says, the truth is one bad motherfucker!

    This would be a good time to say that the fine folks on BB do a fantastic job at ferreting out information that isn't available anywhere else - appreciate their research and reporting from social-media sources.

    Mil gracias

  10. They won’t forbid it as it’s a huge source for intel. Each post and each picture uploaded is small nail in their coffin. Maybe not right now but later .


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