(ThePatriotSource)- When Twitter and Facebook permanently banned President Donald Trump from their social media platforms, liberals rejoiced while conservatives groaned.
While liberals thought they’d have many supporters around the world to their efforts to stunt the president’s speech, Trump has one prominent international backer in his corner — German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
On Monday, Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for Merkel, told the Associated Press that he thought the Twitter ban of Trump was “problematic.” Speaking to reporters in Berlin Monday, Seibert said the companies that run the platforms “bear great responsibility for political communication not being poisoned by hatred, by lies and by incitement to violence.”
That being said, he also commented that freedom of opinion and speech are intrinsic rights carrying “elementary significance.”
“This fundamental right can be intervened in, but according to law and within the framework defined by legislators — not according to a decision by the management of social media platforms. Seen from this angle, the chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the U.S. president have now been permanently blocked.”
Twitter banned Trump from their platform last week. Facebook suspended him through at least inauguration day on January 20, though that suspension could turn into a permanent ban.
Seibert said that the social media companies shouldn’t “stand back” when questionable content is posted to their sites. Instead, they should continue flagging it. But, banning the president altogether is a threat to the institution of free speech and freedom of expression.
This is especially true when companies such as Twitter aren’t consistent in carrying out their rules. Prominent international politicians such as Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei still has an active Twitter account despite publishing many messages that threaten violence.
Masih Alinejad, a journalist and dissident from Iran, urged Twitter last week to take action against Khamenei, but nothing has been done thus far. She submitted a statement to The Jerusalem Post that:
“A close review of these accounts in multiple languages which include Persian, English, Spanish and Arabic, shows that Khamenei has repeatedly violated Twitter rules. Even today, @Khamenei_ir account announced a ban on COVID-19 vaccines from the US and European companies and blamed the French for giving Iran blood tainted with HIV virus.”
Alinejad highlighted the hypocrisy Twitter is showing in banning Trump but leaving Iran’s leader to do whatever he wants. She said:
“In 2019, I called on Twitter to shut down Khamenei’s accounts for not only inciting violence but ordering the murder of 1,500 peaceful protesters. Some opposed this campaign. Now the same people are cheering that Trump has been suspended. It’s shameful.”
Following Alinejad’s comments, Twitter deleted the false information about COVID-19 vaccines that Khamenei sent, but they only deleted his tweet in English. She continued:
“The Khamenei account tweeted the same message in Persian. This is rather ironic as Islamic Republic has banned ordinary Iranians from using Twitter but allows regime officials to use the platform to spread their misinformation.
“Khamenei also ordered the crackdowns on peaceful protests that resulted in the killings of 1,500 people in November 2019 and he turned off the Internet for the whole country during the crackdown. Using Twitter is a crime in Iran.”