Look, I don’t mean to reopen old wounds from World War II, but when the Germans say you’re being a social media fascist, more or less, you know you’ve overreached. German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently condemned Twitter’s indefinite ban of Donald Trump’s account. And it’s not just the Germans. France has joined the chorus condemning the move by the social media giant (via Bloomberg):
Germany and France attacked Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. after U.S. President Donald Trump was shut off from the social media platforms, in an extension of Europe’s battle with big tech.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel objected to the decisions, saying on Monday that lawmakers should set the rules governing free speech and not private technology companies.
“The chancellor sees the complete closing down of the account of an elected president as problematic,” Steffen Seibert, her chief spokesman, said at a regular news conference in Berlin. Rights like the freedom of speech “can be interfered with, but by law and within the framework defined by the legislature -- not according to a corporate decision.”
The German leader’s stance is echoed by the French government. Junior Minister for European Union Affairs Clement Beaune said he was “shocked” to see a private company make such an important decision. “This should be decided by citizens, not by a CEO,” he told Bloomberg TV on Monday. “There needs to be public regulation of big online platforms.” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire earlier said that the state should be responsible for regulations, rather than “the digital oligarchy,” and called big tech “one of the threats” to democracy.
BREAKING - German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemns Twitter censorship of President Trump.— Blair Brandt (@BlairBrandt) January 11, 2021
UPDATE - France Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire mirrored German Chancellor Merkel's criticism of Big Tech; is "shocked" by Twitter's move.— Blair Brandt (@BlairBrandt) January 11, 2021
"German Chancellor Angela Merkel blasted Twitter’s decision to ban U.S. President Donald Trump.— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 11, 2021
'The right to freedom of opinion is of fundamental importance,' Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s chief spokesman, told reporters in Berlin on Monday." https://t.co/1f8X98ZJIY
Mexico’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, also slammed Twitter and Facebook for banning President Trump.
Truth be told, this move to ban Trump from Twitter was probably in the works for a long time. They were just waiting for him to leave office. They were pretty open about this move prior to the Capitol Hill riot.
After the events of last week, social media giants have unleashed a free speech assault on conservatives on their platform. Not just content relating to the riot, but stuff totally unrelated to the chaos that occurred last week. It’s an assault on conservative thought and free expression. Period.