Given Germany’s somewhat recent history with totalitarian regimes that stifled freedom of speech, we should pay heed when German leaders raise concerns over Twitter’s recent banning of President Donald Trump’s account.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel describes Twitter’s ban of Trump as “problematic.”
According to Merkel’s spokesman, “The right to freedom of opinion is of fundamental importance … Given that, the chancellor considers it problematic that the president’s accounts have been permanently suspended.”
Keep in mind, Merkel has not been an advocate for Trump over the past four years. However, she knows tyranny when she sees it, which is why she decided to speak her mind about Twitter’s Orwellian action.
Jens Zimmerman, a member of the German Parliament, also labeled the Twitter ban of Trump as “problematic.”
“It [the Twitter ban] is problematic because we have to ask on which basis was it made, on which laws and what does it mean for the future actions of social media platforms?,” said Zimmerman.
Zimmerman added, “We are talking about the head of state of a democratic country. Obviously Donald Trump wasn’t very popular in Germany. But nevertheless, this could happen to somebody else who won an election.”
On this note, Zimmerman is right. If Twitter can silence the leader of the free world, they can silence anyone for any reason at any time.
Which is why Zimmerman and other German political leaders are considering something that should have been done long ago in the United States: Reining in Big Tech.
Zimmerman, a member of German Parliament’s Committee on the Digital Agenda, believes that the time has come to restrain the power wielded by the social media giants.
“We need to to come up with regulation. And we need to be careful about what power these platforms have. I think it’s no surprise that Twitter came up with that solution, with 12 days to go until Donald Trump leaves office. And the same applies to Facebook,” said Zimmerman.
Bravo to the brave German leaders who are standing up to Big Tech tyranny. Hopefully, America’s leaders will do the same soon.
Unfortunately, I have little confidence that Big Tech will be taken to the woodshed anytime soon.
Big Tech and the Big Government go together like peanut butter and jelly. Politicians on the left (and many on the right) refuse to rescind Section 230, which provides a liability shield to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. And in return, the social media giants provide political favors (in the form of censoring content and stories for the politicians) as well as huge campaign contributions.
The unholy alliance between Big Tech and Big Government is the root of the problem. These entities should be more like adversaries than allies.
Unless and until the scandalous relationship between Silicon Valley and the Swamp is stopped, Americans will not be able to have a free and open social discourse, which is the very foundation of a free nation.
PHOTO: Digitising Europe 2019 keynote Angela Merkel. Photo by Kristof Roomp. CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0). Public domain dedication.