“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,” said Mrs 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.”

He said that lies or incitement to violence were also “very problematic”, but that the path to dealing with them should be for the state to draw up a legal regulatory framework.