Over the weekend I read two different, but related, notes of particular interest. The first reported the Mexican Supreme Court ruling, holding that the obligation for radio and television programs to distinguish between information and opinion has no general application, but its only applicable to the case reviewed. This judgment allows radio and television programs to continue broadcasting programs without having to specify whether they are informative or opinion contents (https://latinus.us/2022/03/18/suprema-corte-resuelve-noticiarios-no-obligados-distincion-informacion-opinion/).  The other note discussed increased fines imposed on a political party and several influencers for violating electoral laws and breaching a silence period. Along with the increase to the fine, the court's sanction requires a public apology, the acknowledgement by influencers of their conduct and their participation in electoral seminars (https://latinus.us/2022/03/18/tribunal-electoral-multa-partido-verde-118-millones-pesos-uso-influencers/).

I believe these two cases are particularly relevant, because they both have implications on the way we use the internet. While Mexican laws and culture acknowledge and protect freedom of speech, there are limits to this protection. These are two good examples of that limitation: one where freedom of speech is limited by an obligation to disclose when something is informative or an opinion; and another confirming that the use of social media during a period of silence in an election is a breach of electoral laws.

There is still a long way to go and while we do not yet have a regulation for such conduct, like there is in other jurisdictions, we might be seeing new regulations or amendments down the road to address these scenarios, whether in the form of the Consumer Protection Law, Electoral Law, the Radio and Television Law or any other applicable to the particular conduct of the subjects (artists, presenters, anchormen or influencers). Nonetheless, since there is now and there will continue to be more silence periods because of electoral regulations, this may have an immediate impact on how political parties may use influencers for the public consultation for vote on the revocation of the Mexican president mandate taking place shortly.