World Leaders Oppose President Trump Twitter Ban
Governments around the world are criticizing the Twitter ban of President Donald Trump. The ban came after the events that took place at the US Capitol last week.
“The right to freedom of opinion is of fundamental importance,” said Steffen Seibert, chief spokesperson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Given that, the chancellor considers it problematic that the president’s accounts have been permanently suspended.”
Lawmakers should be the ones deciding whether to restrict freedom of expression, not social media companies, adds Clement Beaune, France’s junior minister for EU Affairs. “There needs to be public regulation of big online platforms.”
Such concerns are common in Europe.
Europe has generally been more proactive than the US when it comes to reprimanding Big Tech.
“We cannot leave it to American Big Tech to decide how we can or cannot discuss online,” argues Manfred Weber. Weber is the leader of the center-right European People’s Party. “Today’s mechanisms destroy the compromise searching and consensus-building that are crucial in free and democratic societies. We need a stricter regulatory approach.”
“This is a line where freedom of expression is also at stake,” says Jonas Gahr Støre, head of Norway’s leftwing Labor Party. “If Twitter starts with this sort of thing, it means that they have to go around the world and look at other people completely astray, and shut them out.”
Russia also spoke out against the ban. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny described it as an “unacceptable act of censorship” that will be “exploited by the enemies of freedom of speech around the world.”
But the big tech company did not ban Trump for violating Twitter policy, says Navalny. Rather, it banned him for expressing a political opinion with which the site disagrees. “I get death threats here every day for many years, and Twitter doesn’t ban anyone.”
Next month, Australian lawmakers also plan to move forward with an investigation. It will look into Big Tech’s influence and censorship of political ideas. “Our democratic process is founded on our ability to share ideas freely and to be exposed to challenging and opposing viewpoints,” says Australian Senator Alex Antic. “It is crucial to the integrity of that process that Big Tech companies do not censor one side of the debate.”
Twitter announced its permanent ban on President Trump Friday.
The decision cut him off from 70 million followers. It also robbed him of his primary method of communication with the American public. Twitter also claimed the president’s tweets would incite further violence. The company also said that some of his recent posts were a violation of the company’s policy on the “Glorification of Violence.”
Facebook also blocked Trump, though the site is likely to restore his account after his term is over.
Author’s Note: Freedom of speech is absolutely fundamental to a democratic society. Keep in mind this criticism is coming from nations that dislike Trump and from nations without the constitutional guarantee of free speech.