German chancellor Angela Merkel has criticised Twitter for permanently suspending Donald Trump’s account.
Merkel’s spokesperson said that while social media platforms need to prevent being flooded by “hatred and lies”, the politician believes freedom of opinion should not be determined by the website bosses.
“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 Steffen Seibert.
“From this point of view, the chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the US president have been permanently blocked.”
Seibert said that Merkel accepts that lies and incitement to violence were “very problematic”, but that a legal regulatory framework was for the state to decide.
He said blocking out views by banning the account was a step too far – but the administration backed moves by the social media network to flag up fake news.
Merkel previously said she was “furious and saddened” over the actions of Trump supporters in storming the US Capitol and had accused the US president of stoking the unrest with his refusal to concede the election result.