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Twitter user receives warning from government official

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - On 19 November 2011, the President of the National Assembly, Fernando Cordero, issued a public warning against Betty Escobar, an Ecuadorian citizen who lives in the United States. Through the micro-blogging social network Twitter, Cordero warned Escobar to "change her language or she would soon regret her licentiousness," after she tweeted a comment that was critical of the official.

The National Assembly President reacted to a comment directed at him by Escobar, identified in Twitter by the name @basoledispa. It said:"you are incompetent, you fail to comply with the law and you support the dictatorship! you and correa should go to prison for corruption! double standards". The official responded:"read art. 18 of the Constitution, try to understand what responsibility is, change your language or you will soon regret your licentiousness."

As a reply to Cordero's comment, Escobar published in her account: "I am an Ecuadorian citizen with full rights to express myself, especially when I see that politicians who should be working for the people are not doing their job . . . instead of presenting me with a valid argument, you threaten me publicly. I will keep a photo of your message because if anything is done against me you will be the one who is responsible . . . "

Minutes after Cordero's message appeared, a number of people expressed their support for Escobar, saying "you are not alone" and "carry on", while others expressed their disagreement and recommended to the President of the Assembly that he should block her account.

Escobar justified the contents of her initial tweet explaining to her followers in later postings that "she referred to him as incompetent because he (Cordero) called the Assembly incompetent in a previous 'tweet', and corrupt because he announced something and later denied it." This was in regard to the current debate about whether the Tax Law bill should be shelved, as per the opposition's vote, or be passed as legislation.

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