The president of France, Emmanuel Macron has blasted Twitter and Facebook for de-platforming the former US president and their arbitrary implementation of content moderation policies. Other leaders, including Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, have also condemned the social media companies.
In an interview, the French president talked about the recent censorship and removal of Trump following the January 6 riots. The social media companies removed Trump for allegedly “inciting” the riots.
“We are very upset here in Paris [about the Capitol attack]. But at the same time, we were very upset, as well, by the fact that a few hours later, all the platforms … which helped President Trump to be so efficient, sometimes, to promote the same demonstrations, a few hours before, at the very second when they were sure that he was over, [out] of the power, suddenly cut the mic,” Macron said.
He argued that decisions as critical as silencing an elected leader should not be made by private companies.
“I don’t want to live in a democracy where the key decisions and the decision to, at a point of time, to cut your mic … is decided by a private player, a private social network,” he continued. “I want it to be decided by a law voted [on] by your representative, or by a regulation — a governance democratically discussed and approved by democratic leaders.”
Mainstream social media platforms seem to implement content moderation policies depending on their political ideologies.
In India, Twitter has refused to remove tweets and accounts claiming that the PM was planning a “farmer genocide” following riots on India’s Republic Day. Twitter claimed that the claims were “freedom of speech,” despite the government pointing out that the claims could lead to violence (the same excuse Twitter gave when de-platforming Trump).