German Chancellor Angela Merkel has hit out at Twitter’s decision to permanently ban President Trump from the social media platforming, insisting that rules relating to freedom of speech should be made by lawmakers, not private corporate companies.
A spokesperson for the outgoing German leader told reporters at a press conference in Berlin: “The fundamental right to freedom of opinion is a fundamental right of elementary importance, and 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.
“From this point of view, the Chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the US president have been permanently blocked.”
The sitting U.S President had his Twitter account permanently banned late on Friday evening “due to the risk of further incitement of violence” after protests turned ugly at the U.S Capitol building in Washington D.C earlier last week.
The French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire also expressed his concern that a private company had the unilateral power to make such an important decision, with zero checks and balances.
“What shocks me is that Twitter is the one to close his account. The regulation of the digital world cannot be done by the digital oligarchy,” said Le Maire, insisting that decisions such as this “should be decided by citizens, not by a CEO.”
In addition to his Twitter ban, President Trump has been indefinitely suspended by Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat among others – even having e-commerce platform Shopify shutting down two online stores linked to the President.