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Angela Merkel calls Trump's permanent Twitter ban 'problematic' and says freedom of opinion is a fundamental right


  •  Merkel's spokesman said freedom opinion is fundamental right of 'elementary significance'  after the US president was permanently banned from Twitter
  • Added social platforms should not let politics be 'poisoned by hatred and lies'
  • Twitter cited a 'risk of further incitement of violence' in reason for the ban
  • On Monday, Twitter competitor Parler was also taken down by Amazon
The ban on Trump’s twitter account is seen as a violation of his freedom of right to speak by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In the dailymail news, it states that German chancellor Angela Merkel regards Donald Trump's permanent ban from Twitter as 'problematic' because it gives too much power to social media bosses, her spokesman said. 

Trump was permanently booted off the platform on Friday because of the 'risk of further incitement of violence' after his supporters stormed the US Capitol while Congress was certifying his election defeat.   
Merkel - a longstanding critic of Trump - said she was 'furious and saddened' by the rampage, but her spokesman Steffen Seibert said today that 'the chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the US president have been permanently blocked'. 

'The fundamental right to freedom of opinion is a fundamental right of elementary importance,' he said. 
'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.' 
While tech giants were right not to 'stand back' and were justified in red-flagging Trump's tweets, banning his account altogether was a step too far, he said.  
He added that social media bosses 'bear great responsibility for political communication not being poisoned by hatred, by lies and by incitement to violence'.
France's finance minister Bruno Le Maire also voiced doubts about Trump's ban today, telling France Inter radio that it should not be for the 'digital oligarchy' to regulate itself. 
Echoing Merkel's spokesman, Le Maire said that regulatory decisions should be taken by elected governments rather than by American corporate bosses.  
Merkel, an understated multilateralist who has little in common with the brash Trump, has been critical of the US president on numerous occasions during his four years in office - including when she condemned the Capitol riots last week. 
'I regret that since November President Trump has not acknowledged his defeat and also yesterday,' she said following the rampage.  
In 2019 she criticized Trump's suggestion that four Democratic congresswomen should 'go back' to their supposed home countries, saying she 'felt solidarity' with the women he had attacked. 
She has also described Trump's tariffs on EU imports as 'illegal' and criticized his decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018. 


But both leaders have clashed with social media giants during their terms in office - with Germany bringing in a new law in 2018 to force them to remove hate speech.  
Like several European countries, privacy-conscious Germany has also been at loggerheads with US tech firms over data protection and tax payments.  
Merkel herself does not have a Twitter account, although Seibert does and many German government ministers do. 
Facebook on Thursday suspended Trump´s account through to January 20, the day of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, and possibly indefinitely.
Though Twitter hasn't issued any further statements after its banning of Trump , it appears to be conducting a mass purge of any accounts connected with the 'QAnon' conspiracy theory, banning Trump loyalists Mike Flynn, Sidney Powell, and thousands of others.  
The apparent effect has been to massively shrink the follower counts of high-profile conservative figures and Trump allies. 
In a video message on Facebook, Don Jr claimed that he had lost 100,000 Twitter followers in the past day.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted an image of an analytical tool showing key elected Democrats gaining tens of thousands of followers, while key Republicans were losing them at the same rate.

'This is how you create an echo chamber...' Pompeo wrote.
Don Jr added: 'The world is laughing at America & Mao, Lenin, & Stalin are smiling. Big tech is able to censor the President? Free speech is dead & controlled by leftist overlords,' Don Trump Jr said in a tweet on Saturday, urging followers to join his mailing list, 'In case I'm next.'
In his tweets on Saturday, Don Jr pointed out that Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who tweeted last year calling for 'the elimination of the Zionist regime' through 'firm, armed resistance,' still has multiple official Twitter accounts. 
Amid the bans, Trump loyalists appear to be abandoning Twitter in droves, signing up for Gab and Parler, social media sites that bill themselves as 'free-speech' alternatives to Twitter.
But Parler on Monday disappeared from the web and vanished from the Apple and Google app stores after tech giants cut ties with the platform in the wake of the deadly mob attack at the US Capitol.

Parler went offline shortly after 3am EST after Amazon booted the platform off its web hosting service, effectively shutting it down until it can find a new hosting partner. 
Parler, which was used by some of the rioters before the insurrection, was the most-downloaded app in the Apple store on Friday before both Apple and Google cut off its access to their app stores.
Hailed by Donald Trump supporters as a conservative-friendly alternative to Twitter - which permanently suspended the president on Friday - the site is seen as a magnet for the far right and was accused by Apple, Google and Amazon of continuing to allow messages inciting violence after Wednesday's riot. 
Parler, which Apple claims was used by some of the rioters to help plan the insurrection, was the most-downloaded app in the Apple store on Friday before both Apple and Google cut off its access to their app stores.  
  
CEO John Matze warned in his final post before the 3am deadline that 'we will likely be down longer than expected' as tech firms distance themselves from the 'free speech' site. 
'Amazon's, Google's and Apple's statements to the press about dropping our access has caused most of our other vendors to drop their support for us as well,' said Matze, who has labeled the Big Tech moves to isolate his app 'absolutely disgusting'. 
'Parler is my final stand on the Internet. I won't be making an account on any social. Parler is my home,' he said. 
Gab, meanwhile, claimed that it was seeing more than 10,000 new signups per hour on Saturday. 
The Gab app was banned from the Apple and Google app stores years ago amid accusations that it was a cesspool of racist ideology.

After he was banned on Friday, Trump had initially appeared to find a way around his permanent Twitter ban by using the @POTUS handle before his tweets were swiftly deleted.
He urged his supporters to 'STAY TUNED!' as he claimed that Twitter is working with 'Radical Left and Dems' to silence him and to silence those who voted for him.
'As I have been saying for a long time, Twitter has gone further and further in banning free speech, and tonight, Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me — and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me,he wrote. 
Republican congressman Devin Nunes, who had an account on Parler, raged at what he said was 'political censorship' after Apple and Google removed the app. 
'Spread the word so your fellow Americans know about this,' he urged his three million followers on the site.   
Right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro warned on Twitter that 'the tech bros are making a horrible and dangerous moment significantly more horrible and dangerous'. 
'There are no consistent standards being applied. There is reactionary deplatforming in the name of one side,' he claimed. 
'Everyone on the right is correctly concerned that these same companies are five minutes away from simply removing the ability of conservatives to host content anywhere.'
The social media crackdown has revived a debate over whether tech giants should be treated as 'publishers' with the same liability as news providers. 
After Twitter red-flagged some of Trump's posts last year, the president demanded that the website be stripped of a 'liability shield' known as Section 230. 
Fox News personality Dan Bongino, a supporter of Parler, raged that 'the greatest threats to liberty are the destructive tech tyrants who have acted as publishers in their ongoing wars on conservatives and free speech'.
'This will be my final post on this anti-American platform,' he wrote on Twitter on Friday.
Launched in 2018, Parler operates much like Twitter with profiles people can follow and 'parleys' instead of tweets. 
'Our mission is to create a social platform in the spirit of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,' it boasts. 'We prefer that removing community members or member-provided content be kept to the absolute minimum.' 
The site claims more than 12million users in total, although analytics firm Sensor Tower puts the number at10 million worldwide, with eight million in the US. 
Founded by computer engineer Matze and Republican donor Rebekah Mercer, it attracts a mixture of far-right users and more traditional Republican voices - and is already used by the president's children Don Jr, Eric and Ivanka. 
Fox News star host Sean Hannity has 7.6million followers on Parler, while his colleague Tucker Carlson has 4.4million.
There are also elected officials, including Nunes and South Dakota's Republican governor Kristi Noem.  
Trump supporters flocked to the app after the president was banned from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other sites in the wake of the violence at the Capitol. 
But despite speculation that Trump himself would join Parler, he had no known account by the time the site was shut down today.  

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