The decision by Jack Dorsey’s company to permanently throw President Trump off of Twitter has been widely panned, even by some of the President’s harshest critics. If you squint really hard, you might be able to support the decision to put warning flags on some of his individual tweets, though they’ve stretched the definition of “promoting violence” beyond the fabric of space and time. But banning him entirely was just a blatant act of suppression against someone who the powers that be don’t happen to like. Their enforcement against liberals and even foreign tyrants has been far more gentle. You’ve heard these opinions here at Hot Air and at other conservative outlets, but a new defender has arisen to make the case for President Trump and this was probably one of the last people I’d have expected to see do it. It’s none other than German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (CNBC)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel blasted Twitter’s decision to ban U.S. President Donald Trump.
“The right to freedom of opinion is of fundamental importance,” Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s chief spokesman, told reporters in Berlin on Monday, according to Reuters.
“Given that, the chancellor considers it problematic that the president’s accounts have been permanently suspended.”
Seibert said that, while Twitter was right to flag Trump’s inaccurate tweets about the election, banning his account altogether was a step too far.
It turns out that Merkel wasn’t the only prominent European to take this stance. CNBC notes that both U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock and EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton weighed in with very similar comments. Breton called the decision “perplexing.”
This shouldn’t be taken as some sort of suggestion that Merkel and Trump are suddenly BFFs. The two of them have been going at it hammer and tongs ever since Trump took office. They’ve had any number of confrontations, most frequently about Merkel’s open border policies and the flood of largely Muslim migrants that she’s allowed to spread across Europe with significant negative consequences. Trump’s support of Brexit didn’t score him any points with the Chancellor either.
But on this one point, there seems to be agreement. Twitter and the rest of the social media giants are basically out of control at this point. They are seizing the moment in the aftermath of the Capitol Hill riot to swing the ban hammer with abandon. Permanently deleting accounts in a medium that has now become more of a source of news for much of the world than television and the newspapers combined is a significantly damaging act.
And before any liberals see this and try to raise the tired old objection about how Trump (or anyone else) can simply go elsewhere to make their voice heard, unless you’re completely daft you know that’s dishonest. There is no comparable platform to Twitter in terms of global reach in real-time. When somebody tries to start one (*cough* Parler *cough*) Big Tech rallies their massive muscle to shut them down. And even if they don’t succeed, no other platform in that arena has grown to even a fraction of a percent of the volume the giants have.
So Angela Merkel is pretty much on point here. I rarely get the opportunity to sing her praises, but she was willing to stand up for the value of free speech, even when the speech is coming from someone she clearly despises and has frequently used it to target her. Well done, Madam Chancellor. I am honestly impressed.