World leaders are coming forward to blast Twitter’s suspension of President Trump’s account, with many of them calling it outright censorship and a decision that should be left up to the citizens and not a private tech company.
“This should be decided by citizens, not by a CEO,” he told Bloomberg TV on Monday. “But yes, I’m shocked by the fact that it is now, entirely in private hands. It cannot be in private hands only.”
Beaune said there should be a “public framework of regulation” in which social media platforms can argue that some content violates the law and it should be removed or fines paid, but that should be decided by citizens and legislatures.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the responsibility to regulate content should fall to the state.
“The regulation of digital giants cannot be done by the digital oligarchy itself,” Le Maire said, adding that big tech was “one of the threats” to democracy.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said it was a “bad sign” that social media has the power to censor Trump.
“I don’t like anybody being censored or taking away from the right to post a message on Twitter or Facebook. I don’t agree with that, I don’t accept that,” Lopez Obrador said at a news conference last Friday.
“A court of censorship like the Inquisition to manage public opinion: this is really serious,” he said.
A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she views Twitter’s ban of Trump as “problematic.”
“This fundamental right can be intervened in, but according to the law and within the framework defined by legislators — not according to a decision by the management of social media platforms,” spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin on Monday.
“Seen from this angle, the chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the US president have now been permanently blocked,” he said, adding that the president should have the ability to voice his opinion.
Acting Australian Prime Minister Michael McCormack said blocking Trump amounts to censorship.
He questioned why Twitter has failed to remove a fake photograph that shows an Australian soldier beheading an Afghan child, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
“I would say to the owners of Twitter, if you’re going to take down the comments of who is still the American president, you need to think also about the photo, the doctored image, which shows a soldier, supposedly an Australian digger, with a child in his arms, about to do harm to that child,” McCormack said. “That has not been taken down, and that is wrong.”
Twitter has marked the image “sensitive,” following prodding by The Post in November.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo raised similar concerns about Twitter’s treatment of Venezuela’s authoritarian leader Nicolas Maduro.
“A world where Maduro is on social media, but Trump is suspended cannot be normal”
With Post wires