It’s not often that Angela Merkel and Donald Trump agree on something.
Many people have been celebrating Donald Trump’s permanent ban from Twitter, but Angela Merkel says the move is ‘problematic’.
Trump talked to reporters today about his ban on several social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook.
He continued: “I’ve been predicting it for a long time but people didn’t act on it and I think big tech has made a terrible mistake and very, very bad for our country and that’s leading others to do the same thing. It causes a lot of problems and a lot of danger. Big mistake and they shouldn’t be doing it.”
The German Chancellor’s spokesman says the decision gives too much power to social media bosses.
Trump was banned from Twitter last Friday, with Twitter citing the ‘risk of further incitement of violence‘ after his supporters stormed the US Capitol.
Angela Merkel has long been a critic of Trump. She is ‘furious and saddened’ by the riots, but her spokesman Steffen Seibert says ‘the chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the US president have been permanently blocked’.
He continued: “The fundamental right to freedom of opinion is a fundamental right of elementary importance. This fundamental right can be interfered with, but through the law and within the framework defined by the legislature, not according to the decision of the management of social media platforms.”
He also said that banning Trump’s account altogether was a step too far, but agreed it was right for social media platforms to step in.
Seibert added that social media bosses ‘bear great responsibility for political communication not being poisoned by hatred, by lies and by incitement to violence’.
Others are agreeing with Merkel and Seibert. France’s finance minister Bruno Le Maire also expressed concerns Trump’s ban. He told France Inter radio that it should not be for the ‘digital oligarchy’ to regulate itself. Le Maire said regulatory decisions should be taken by elected governments rather than by American corporate bosses.
Twitter also appears to be banning accounts connected to QAnon following the riots. Trump loyalists Mike Flynn, Sidney Powell, and thousands of others have been removed.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo posted an image that showed Democrats gaining tens of thousands of followers, while Republicans were losing them by the same amount. He wrote: ‘This is how you create an echo chamber…’
Donald Trump’s son, Don Jr claims he has lost 100,000 Twitter followers in the past day. Don Jr added: ‘The world is laughing at America & Mao, Lenin, & Stalin are smiling. Big tech is able to censor the President? Free speech is dead & controlled by leftist overlords,’ Don Trump Jr said in a tweet on Saturday, urging followers to join his mailing list, ‘In case I’m next.’
Many of Trumps followers rushed to sign up to social media platform Parler instead, but it was then removed.
Trump found a loophole to the ban and tweeted from the @POTUS account instead, but it was swiftly deleted. He wrote: ‘As I have been saying for a long time, Twitter has gone further and further in banning free speech, and tonight, Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me — and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me,’
Right Wing Anger
Ben Shapiro is a right wind pundit. He wrote that ‘the tech bros are making a horrible and dangerous moment significantly more horrible and dangerous’.
He claims: ‘There are no consistent standards being applied. There is reactionary deplatforming in the name of one side. Everyone on the right is correctly concerned that these same companies are five minutes away from simply removing the ability of conservatives to host content anywhere.”
Dan Bongino from Fox News also expressed anger, writing on Twitter on Friday; ‘the greatest threats to liberty are the destructive tech tyrants who have acted as publishers in their ongoing wars on conservatives and free speech. This will be my final post on this anti-American platform.’
Do you agree with Merkel?
Images via Alamy