Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, has disagreed with the decision by social media site, Twitter, to ban US President Donald Trump from the platform.
Twitter suspended Trump’s account after the storming of the Capitol in Washington by his supporters, with many critics claiming that Trump had incited the unrest. Twitter said that Trump had also continually violated the platform’s terms of service, leading to his account’s suspension.
Merkel, who has often had a strained relationship with Trump, said that Twitter’s ban of the US President was ‘problematic’ and a breach of his fundamental free speech rights.
According to the Financial Times, Merkel said through a spokesperson that the US should rather follow the German example. Germany has laws which restrict online incitement, which was preferable to leaving decisions on who can be on platforms to the social media platforms themselves.
Merkel’s criticism of Trump’s suspension was echoed by the French finance minister, Bruno le Maire, who declared himself ‘shocked’ by Twitter’s actions. A Russian dissident and blogger, Alexei Navalny, agreed and said that the Kremlin would use Twitter’s banning of Trump to justify blacklisting himself from state media.