FORUM

Jan 11 2021

Germany: Govt finds Trump social media ban ‘problematic’ despite providers’ responsibility

German Chancellor Angela Merkel finds the permanent banning of US President Donald Trump’s social media accounts ‘difficult,’ according to government spokesperson Steffen Seibert at the bi-weekly federal conference on Monday.

“The complete ban of the account of an elected president by decision of a corporate management is difficult. Totally problematic and essentially problematic is of course, what kind of fraudulent, what kind of falsifying, violence supporting tweets and posts there are in general and that is why this trade-off is always challenging,” Seibert added.

Seibert highlighted the responsibilities belonging to social media networks in “not poisoning” politics with “hate, by lies, by instigation of violence. And it is correct to not stand idly by, when content related to these categories is posted on certain channels.”

The issue with removing the president from social media concerns censorship.

“The constitutional right for free speech is a constitutional right of primary importance. This constitutional right can be interfered with, but along the laws and within the frameworks defined by the legislature, [and] not by decision of the corporate management of social media platforms,” Seibert added.

President Trump was permanently ‘deplatformed’ from Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Reddit, in the wake of the assault on DC’s Capitol on January 6, during the formalisation of Joe Biden’s election victory.

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