World, Europe

Merkel critical of Twitter’s Trump ban

German government spokesman says permanent suspension ‘problematic’ with regards to freedom of expression

Ayhan Simsek   | 11.01.2021
Merkel critical of Twitter’s Trump ban

BERLIN

The German government on Monday criticized Twitter’s decision to ban US President Donald Trump permanently.

Speaking at a press conference in the capital Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said social media platforms bear great responsibility to combat fake news, but he also underlined the importance of protecting freedom of expression.

“This fundamental right can be interfered with, but as prescribed by the law and within the limits defined by the legislators, not according to a decision of the management of social media platforms,” Steffen Seibert said.

“From this point of view, the chancellor thinks that the permanent suspension of US President’s account is problematic."

Twitter on Jan. 8 suspended the US president’s account, two days after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol, which left at least five people dead.

“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” it said in a statement.

Trump is accused by many of inciting supporters to halt Congress’ ability to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.

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