Angela Merkel attacks Twitter over Trump ban
Angela Merkel, German chancellor, has sharply criticised Twitter’s decision to ban US president Donald Trump, calling it a “problematic” breach of the “fundamental right to free speech”.
Twitter suspended Mr Trump’s account last week in the aftermath of the riots at the Capitol Building, citing “repeated and severe” violations of its civic integrity policies. Facebook has taken similar action.
But Ms Merkel said through her spokesman that the US government should follow Germany’s lead in adopting laws that restrict online incitement, rather than leaving it up to platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to make up their own rules.
The intervention highlights a key area of disagreement between the US and Europe on how to regulate social media platforms. The EU wants to give regulators more powers to force internet platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to remove illegal content.
In the US, technology companies have traditionally been left to themselves to police their own sites, though momentum is gathering behind political moves to curtail their regulatory freedoms. Several members of Congress are working on bills which would limit the legal protections social media companies have from being sued for third-party content posted on their sites. Others are pushing for a new federal data privacy bill that could mirror the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.
Twitter’s share price fell more than 7 per cent on Monday as investors were spooked by the renewed debate into the prospect of tighter social media regulation.
Ms Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said free speech was a “fundamental right of vital importance” that could be restricted, “but only in accordance with the laws and within a framework defined by the legislator — not by the decision of the management of social media platforms”.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||Last Wednesday at 8:55 AM|
There's no fundamental right to social media!
|by Anonymous||reply 1||01/11/2021|
Let’s tweet Hitler and Nazi memes about Merkel and see how long they stay up on Twitter Deutschland.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||01/11/2021|
What, exactly, is "third party content"? As in: "Several members of Congress are working on bills which would limit the legal protections social media companies have from being sued for third-party content posted on their sites." I assume the platform is the first party.
Who is the third party in terms of social media: me when I write something, an article I might link, or both?
|by Anonymous||reply 4||01/11/2021|
And we would have banned Hitler if he were tweeting his hate prior to WWII. We probably would have taken him out, like the pussy-grabbed GOP refuses to do.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||01/11/2021|
Merkel is wrong on this one.
She thinks THE GOVERNMENT should establish the rules, not the platform. That's even more "problematic" and would do even more to limit "free speech".
|by Anonymous||reply 6||01/11/2021|
She’s hilariously wrong considering her own country’s speech laws. WTF is she thinking?
|by Anonymous||reply 7||01/11/2021|
LIBEL, SLANDER, FAKE NEWS AND INCITING RIOTS ARE NOT PROTECTED FREE SPEECH.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||01/11/2021|
What I'm not understanding about this whole controversy is that people have been permanently banned already on Twitter. When it happened to the first person where were the outraged that this person's freedom of speech was being violated? Merkel is a nasty piece of work. I hope she gives neo nazis a total media platform because they are disenfranchised.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||01/11/2021|
Deutschland Uber Alles - Banned
|by Anonymous||reply 11||01/11/2021|
She's attacking Twitter for not acting responsibly to censor Trump much sooner
Her position is that Government (the people) should set out a clear understanding in law of what constitutes hate speak and enforce it.
She's right. Companies can never be trusted to act in the interest of all. Profit is their everything.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||01/11/2021|
“This should be decided by citizens, not by a CEO,” Beaune told Bloomberg TV in a Monday interview, adding “There needs to be public regulation of big online platforms.”
Earlier, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, said that the state should be responsible for regulations, not “the digital oligarchy,” adding that big tech is “one of the threats” to democracy.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||01/12/2021|
I know it's a quasi-public platform, but it's a private company. It's not classic First Amendment government curtailing speech.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||01/12/2021|
She is correct but in a European context which has government controls on so called "free speech".
What Twitter did is correct for now in the USA because only Twitter could do it.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||Last Wednesday at 12:02 AM|
That's unfortunately misphrased, imo (though I didn't read it in German.) It sounds like she's saying Donald Trump or anyone else should be perfectly free to incite violence, recommend murder and mayhem, and no company should have the right to tell them to shut up. One would assume from that that she would object to a cinema being allowed to get rid of someone who was yelling "Fire" in a crowded theatre and causing a stampede that harmed people.
I think what's she saying is that if you leave it up to companies, eventually a dangerous movement could take hold, and companies could disallow truth tellers but allow all manner of propaganda and dangerous incitement to take place, because the private owners of the business agreed with the evil intent.
Because of this misinterpretation, I think it was really wrong of her to speak out. The right wing will use her words (and other leaders like her) to further prop up their movement.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||Last Wednesday at 12:54 AM|
How come NONE of these people understand the goddamn First Amendment?
|by Anonymous||reply 18||Last Wednesday at 1:30 AM|
Germany rightfully bans swastikas and Nazi symbols, Angela Merkel needs to mind her own business.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||Last Wednesday at 1:40 AM|
First of all, in Germany speech is heavily restricted. I lived there and would regularly read articles about people being arrested for controversial (not violent or threatening) Facebook or Twitter comments.
Secondly, I think she and other world leaders are pissed because now their countries' respective intelligence services will have to step up their US surveillance operations. Trump was a godsend because he posted every fucking thought and intention on Twitter.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||Last Wednesday at 1:42 AM|
Huh. I must've slept through that whole US-joins-EU;-should-no-longer-obey-US-Constitution episode.
Has she not seen the stranglehold the GOP and its POTUSes have had on ANY meaningful regulatory legislation in the US from guns to petrochemical industries to agribusiness to banking to Big Media to social media?
|by Anonymous||reply 21||Last Wednesday at 1:46 AM|
They have a bee in their bonnets about tech companies.
Maybe rightfully so, but I think it may have played a part in this unfortunate stance she (and probably Macron and others) are taking.
The US is not like the EU -- not in any way whatsoever that comes to mind off hand... Both first world?
|by Anonymous||reply 22||Last Wednesday at 1:51 AM|
[quote]Angela Merkel, German chancellor, has sharply criticised Twitter’s decision to ban US president Donald Trump, calling it a “problematic” breach of the “fundamental right to free speech”.
[quote]... Ms Merkel said through her spokesman that the US government should follow Germany’s lead in adopting laws that restrict online incitement, rather than leaving it up to platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to make up their own rules.
Wait, the government creating laws that make it illegal to say certain things ISN'T infringing on free speech, but Twitter shutting down an account that violates the company's rules IS?
That doesn't make any goddamned sense.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||Last Wednesday at 1:52 AM|
[quote]How come NONE of these people understand the goddamn First Amendment?
I feel like it's willful misunderstanding at this point.
The concept is very simple: the government cannot make laws that suppress peaceful demonstration, religion, the press, or the people's right to petition for redress of grievances.
You can't tell me Macron, Merkel and others don't understand it. They do. They just pretend not to because it's a powerful rhetorical device to say "anyone who doesn't allow you to say whatever you want is violating your rights" -- it triggers anger, defensiveness, and it plays to the people who genuinely DO NOT understand what the First Amendment means.
It's a cheap shot and borderline propaganda and I'm very disappointed in Merkel saying this.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||Last Wednesday at 1:57 AM|
Quibbling and nitpicking over semantics -- how very German of her.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||Last Wednesday at 8:52 AM|
She would have stood back and watch Nazis goosestep through Berlin in 1933 as free speech.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||Last Wednesday at 8:55 AM|