The government is imposing new restrictions on the use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites for protests against President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, including restrictions on advertising and “sabotage” of social media networks, according to a leaked report obtained by POLITICO.
In the report, the government has issued a decree that requires all businesses and individuals with more than 500,000 followers to report anyone using social media to the government and requires anyone posting on social media platforms to notify the Interior Ministry.
The decree also mandates that social media companies and any other companies that provide services for social media must obtain a license from the Interior Minister.
The Interior Ministry also said it will launch an investigation into any social media company that has not obtained a license.
The move comes just a week after the government announced a crackdown on the country’s largest social media platform, Twitter.
The government said Twitter had violated Argentina’s constitution by using “fake news,” and that the company has failed to protect Argentina from “terrorism and terrorism financing.”
The government also said that Twitter had not taken necessary steps to safeguard its users from illegal content.
Twitter’s executive chairman, Dick Costolo, said the company had taken action against “malicious” content that was spreading on social networks.
Twitter said it was working to resolve the situation.
“We take our responsibility as a platform to protect our users and ensure their safety extremely seriously,” Costolo said.
The country is facing growing social unrest after the death of the popular opposition leader Mauricio Macri, who was killed by a government supporter during a violent rally last month.
The crackdown on social platforms follows the arrest last month of a former Twitter executive, Eduardo Rodriguez, who had worked as a translator for Macri’s supporters in Argentina.
The arrest prompted a series of social-media companies, including Facebook, to suspend their services, including for Argentina.
“It’s not an isolated case,” said Alberto Gonzalez, an expert on social-networking regulations at the Institute for Internet Governance at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
“The social-sharing companies are all facing these new restrictions that will affect their ability to operate.”
The Interior Department, in a statement, said that the decree would protect Argentina’s sovereignty, the economy and public order.
“Today’s decree is the culmination of months of efforts to strengthen social networks and prevent the use and abuse of their services,” the department said.
“This decree was not done to suppress social media.
Rather, it is meant to protect the country from the threat of illegal activities and disinformation that threaten the constitutional order and the freedom of expression and assembly.”
The decree would not apply to people with government licenses, the statement said.
Twitter declined to comment.
A Facebook spokeswoman declined to discuss the document.
The department’s decree does not address the issue of censorship, but it does outline new measures to “provide additional protection and control of social networks.”
The move follows the appointment of the countrys former interior minister, Carlos Varela, as a member of a new team that will be charged with overseeing social-news websites.
Varena, who is a former police officer and former prosecutor, has been under scrutiny for a series, including a crackdown that began in March on Facebook and Twitter, which was criticized by the United States and other countries for failing to protect users from extremist content and the use, or promotion, of violence.
In March, the Interior Department announced the arrest of two Facebook employees in Argentina for allegedly distributing extremist content.
Verena, a lawyer, was also under scrutiny in March for a Facebook investigation into a Twitter account allegedly associated with former Argentine President Cristino Raul Márquez, who died in January after a five-month illness.
The social-tech companies have said they will comply with the new regulations.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.