Newly elected Republic,an Rep, Lauren Boebert:
Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, came out and said that she found banning President Trump from Twitter “problematic”.— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 11, 2021
Merkel is certainly not a friend of Trump.
Why is it that the rest of the world can see what liberals in America can’t?
A terrible precedent was set.
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”.
But Dr 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.
Merkel thinks the US government should follow Germany's lead and leave it to government to restrict speech rather than private entities. But the German notion of free speech is different from freedom of speech in the US. A broad swathe of constitutionally protected speech in the United States can be prosecuted in Germany, including "Nazi speech," personal insults, insults against ethnic, religious groups, gender or sexuality. To follow Merkel's recommendation would be unconstitutional in the US, both because it would violate the First Amendment rights of the owner of a platform like twitter, and because German style government restrictions on speech clearly move into territory that would also violate the First Amendment restrictions on government power to regulate speech.
So Merkel may think the German system would be better for the US, but she is either speaking hypothetically or doesn't understand enough about US law to appreciate that the German approach wouldn't be possible without a constitutional amendment (not going to happen) or an unexpected and radical departure from the way SCOTUS has interpreted the First Amendment (also not going to happen).
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.