- Merkel’s spokesman said freedom opinion is fundamental right of ‘elementary significance’ after the US president was permanently banned from Twitter
- Added social platforms should not let politics be ‘poisoned by hatred and lies’
- Twitter cited a ‘risk of further incitement of violence’ in reason for the ban
- On Monday, Twitter competitor Parler was also taken down by Amazon
Trump was permanently booted off the platform on Friday because of the ‘risk of further incitement of violence’ after his supporters stormed the US Capitol while Congress was certifying his election defeat.
Merkel – a longstanding critic of Trump – said she was ‘furious and saddened’ by the rampage, but her spokesman Steffen Seibert said today that ‘the chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the US president have been permanently blocked’.
‘The fundamental right to freedom of opinion is a fundamental right of elementary importance,’ he said.
‘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.’
While tech giants were right not to ‘stand back’ and were justified in red-flagging Trump’s tweets, banning his account altogether was a step too far, he said.
He added that social media bosses ‘bear great responsibility for political communication not being poisoned by hatred, by lies and by incitement to violence’.