Merkel finds Twitter halt of Trump account ‘problematic’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel believes that the decision by social media giants to permanently suspend Donald Trump’s accounts is problematic because freedom of opinion should not be determined by such online platform bosses, her spokesman says.

“The fundamental right to freedom of opinion is a fundamental right of elementary importance, and this fundamental right can be interfered with, but through the law and within the framework defined by the legislature, not according to the decision of the management of social media platforms,” says Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert.

“From this point of view, the Chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the US president have been permanently blocked.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a statement on September 2, 2020 at the Chancellery in Berlin about tests carried out by the German army on Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. (Markus Schreiber/POOL/AFP)

He says that lies or incitement to violence are also “very problematic,” but that the path to dealing with them should be for the state to draw up a legal regulatory framework. Completely blocking out views by halting the account is a step too far, the spokesman says, but backs action taken by social media in recent months to flag false claims.