Over the past three years, people in Mexico and particularly the border State of Tamaulipas have turned to social media to stay informed about organized crime and its effects on the community.
But a video surfaced on YouTube on Wednesday claiming a man dressed in black and kneeling is a contributor of the social media outlet Valor Por Tamaulipas.
After he recites a letter warning social media users to stop reporting about organized crime groups, the man appears to be shot in the head.
UTB Professor Guadalupe Correa-Cabrer told Action 4 News that some have questioned the authenticity of this video.
"The Mexican authorities need to do this investigation, we cannot allege and I cannot allege this is true or this is fake, Correa-Cabrera said. (It's) How they are creating fear through YouTube and through social media. (They TMre) presenting images and saying, ~if you do this, I TMm going to kill you, TM and this is not the first time to terrorize social media users."
Correa-Cabrera believes Mexican authorities have shown weakness when investigating either cyber threats or threats against journalists that have actually been carried out, like the killing of Nuevo Laredo journalist Maria Elizabeth Macias.
"The message that was written in the place that her body was left in Nuevo Laredo, was, ~because of what you're reporting in the social media, TM" Correa-Cabrera said.
She adds protecting social media users falls on the Mexican government, authorities and users themselves, and these threats should be taken seriously.
"If somebody is taking time to tape a video, it means that there is an agenda there, Correa-Cabrera said. You want to generate fear, you want these people that are reporting to stop reporting and we need to protect these people."
Be cautious she said, but hopes people won TMt be silenced.
"People have to know, people have to have their right to inform and to be informed and freedom of expression has to be protected, Correa-Cabrera said. Information is going to allow society to ask government to do their work."