Describing a distinction between “extreme speech” and free speech, Merkel said that freedom of expression must “have its limits,” adding that without opposing extreme speech, “our society will no longer be the free society that it was.”

Germany has clamped extremely strict controls on social media companies, ordering steep fines and even imprisonment for inaction on hate speech.

Many have responded to the clip with the argument that freedom of speech and expression is either total, or it is not freedom at all. Others, however, feel that her views are balanced.