Even the Europeans? Why Germany’s Merkel Disapproves of Twitter Ban

Even the Europeans are raising their eyebrows at American social media companies efforts to manage its platforms. German Chancellor Angela Merkel considers U.S. President Donald Trump’s eviction from Twitter by the company “problematic,” her spokesman said Monday.

Twitter permanently suspended Trump on Friday, citing a “risk of further incitement of violence” after the storming of the Capitol building last week.

Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s spokesman, said the operators of social media platforms “bear great responsibility for political communication not being poisoned by hatred, by lies and by incitement to violence.”

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Yet, he also said that freedom of opinion is a “fundamental right” of “elementary significance.”

Speaking with reporters in Berlin, Seibert said, “This fundamental right can be intervened in, but according to the law and within the framework defined by legislators — not according to a decision by the management of social media platforms.”

“Seen from this angle, the chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the U.S. president have now been permanently blocked,” he concluded.

Shares of Twitter traded lower on Monday. They ended the day off more than 6% which was an improvement from the 12% downside earlier in the session.


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