This is unexpectedly strange but it’s coming from the Associated Press so it’s certainly credible.
BERLIN (AP) — 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 from the microblogging platform on Friday, citing a “risk of further incitement of violence” in the wake of the storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of the outgoing president.
Asked about Twitter’s decision, Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, 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.”
He said it’s right not to “stand back” when such content is posted, for example by flagging it.
But Seibert also said that the freedom of opinion is a fundamental right of “elementary significance.”
“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,” he told reporters in Berlin. “Seen from this angle, the chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the U.S. president have now been permanently blocked.”
Two glaring issues here:
- “Freedom of opinion” is one thing. Spreading blatant falsehoods about the election being stolen is another. Making accusations that elected officials have done illegal things, with no evidence to back up the claim, is another.
- The “law intervening” or “legislation” is inapplicable here. Twitter is not a government-owned and regulated utility. Nor a corporation. It is a privately owned site and Jack Dorsey can ban anybody who doesn’t obey the rules.
I have to say, this is incredible that something this uninformed is coming out of Germany. My guess here is that somebody in the government made a comment without getting the facts, because this is just flat out wrong.