By KELIN DILLON
The Green Ecological Party of Mexico (PVEM) found itself in hot water after it became public knowledge that the party allegedly paid dozens of influencers and celebrities to promote the PVEM on their social media accounts over the weekend, despite an electoral ban in place making it illegal to do so.
The 30 online socialites were purportedly given money in exchange for posts supporting the PVEM, while Mexican law states that, three days prior to the election, no paid propaganda that could potentially sway votes is allowed, making the influencer marketing tactic illegal.
Violators of the law include TV host Celia Lora, who has more than 10 million Instagram followers, model Alejandra Trevino, who boasts 4.3 million Instagram followers, and actress Barbara de Regil, who has 8.4 million followers on Instagram.
The group had a total outreach of more than 60 million combined followers, most hailing from Mexico, with the PVEM characterizing the posts as “shows of support” for the party.
Mexico’s National Electoral Institute (INE) ordered for all the virtual propaganda posted to be removed from social media sites, saying it had determined the posts to be a “propaganda campaign that can influence voters, which was carried out in the period of reflection of the vote, the time where all are prohibited from carrying out acts of proselytism.”
Facebook, which owns Instagram, announced its deletion of all the posts and stories on its platform that violated the electoral ban, saying, “we reiterate our commitment to help protect the integrity of the 2021 elections on our platforms and we celebrate all the citizens who participate in this important day.”