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News site in Ecuador receives threats of arson via social networks

This statement was originally published on fundamedios.org on 18 November 2015.

On 12 November 2015, journalist Carlos Jijón, director of the news site LaRepública.ec, reported that the media outlet has been threatened and insulted by social network users. In one of the messages a user expressed his desire to burn the outlet's facilities with all its staff inside, while another suggested they should be bombed.

Speaking to Fundamedios, Jijón asserted that these two threats have been accompanied by a whole campaign of insults from users of Facebook and Twitter that began last week, after he published an opinion piece titled: “Why I believe Guillermo Lasso is the best option for 2017″, referring to the opposition politician.

The journalist commented that after the article was issued, they received a “flood of insults” by people clearly identified as pro-government, many of them even carrying the green flags of the ruling party, said Jijón.

According to the director of Larepublica.ec, they received the most serious threat on 12 November from a Facebook user identified as Christian Crespo, who in his profile has the Ecuadorian flag and a photograph showing a close-up of his nose and mouth. The message says: “Courage, objectivity, you are shameless mercenary bastards, that's what I think and I hope someone burns your facilities with all of you inside that's what I want”.

This user, as well as the one that said that they should be bombed, were reported to the social network. Facebook, however, decided that their comments did not violate its policies. This was challenged by Jijón who believes these comments are unacceptable.

In addition to these incidents, Jijón said that since last week he has noticed that people who do not work for the outlet walking around the offices asking where they are located, something that seems very strange and that he believes may be a form of harassment.

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