Germany’s Merkel finds Twitter ban on Trump account ‘problematic’
A spokesman for Angela Merkel said Monday that the German chancellor finds the Twitter ban on President Trump’s account “problematic.”
Steffen Seibert said that while social media platforms “bear great responsibility for political communication not being poisoned by hatred, by lies and by incitement to violence,” freedom of opinion “can be intervened in, but according to the law and within the framework defined by legislators.”
“Seen from this angle, the chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the U.S. president have now been permanently blocked,” he added, according to The Associated Press.
Twitter permanently banned Trump from its platform Friday, two days after a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a raid that left at least five people dead. Trump, who addressed the crowd earlier in the day and encouraged them to proceed to the Capitol, had repeatedly used Twitter to promote the Jan. 6 gathering and repeat his claims about widespread election fraud that both elections officials and the courts have knocked down.
The company said it suspended Trump’s account out of concern he was poised to incite further violence.
Facebook, meanwhile, has suspended the president’s account at least until President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
Fallout from last week’s deadly riot has included a crackdown on the social media platform Parler, which is popular with those on the far right due to its lack of content moderation. Apple and Google both pulled the Parler app from their respective stores amid concerns that the platform was used to help plan the Capitol attack. Amazon Web Services also dropped its hosting of Parler, forcing the site offline Sunday night.