Tuesday, January 12, 2021

#GERMANY: Merkel Calls Trump Ban From Twitter "Problematic"

[world politics news] 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has concerns that Twitter's “problematic” suspension of Donald Trump's account, in the wake of last week's assault on the Capitol, is an encroachment on freedom of opinion, her spokesman said.

Steffan Seibert said on Monday that it was right for social media companies not to “stand back” when content inciting violence was posted online, such as by ‘flagging’ it, as Twitter has previously done to several of the US president's tweets.

Merkel’s spokesman stressed, however, that the right to freedom of opinion is a “fundamental right of elementary importance,” which can be interfered with through the law and legislation, “not according to the decision of the management of social media platforms.”

“From this point of view, the chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the US president have been permanently blocked,” he told reporters in Berlin.

Merkel's office made the comments despite her and several other European leaders having a troubled and complicated history with Trump, who often bluntly attack them for not paying their fair share in NATO.

Other world leaders also spoke out on the Twitter ban, for instance French president Emmanuel Macron also expressed reservations.

Mexico’s president criticized the social media censorship of President Trump.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador slammed the blocking of President Trump online. He noted everyone has the right to free speech on social media.

“I don’t like anyone to be censored and for them to have their right taken away to send a message on Twitter or on Facebook," he said.

Perhaps the most honest, and humorous, response came from the son of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s president, Eduardo Bolsonaro, who called Twitter “authoritarian” and tweeted: “A world where Maduro is on social media, but Trump is suspended cannot be normal.”

On Sunday, he announced that he would be “permanently” using Trump’s profile picture for his own account.


World Politics News is dedicated to raising Americans' knowledge of political events, elections, and legislation throughout the world.

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