Feb 4, 2021 - World

Emmanuel Macron blasts social media platforms for banning Trump

Macron with Trump in 2019. Photo: Ludovic Marin/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday lambasted social media networks for their decisions to “suddenly cut the mic” as soon as they were sure Donald Trump was leaving power, particularly as they'd effectively “egged President Trump” on during his presidency.

Why it matters: Speaking at an Atlantic Council forum, Macron said the decisions to ban Trump by platforms like Twitter and Facebook may have seemed sensible in the short term, but did not provide a “democratic answer.” Other world leaders like Germany's Angela Merkel have previously raised similar concerns.

What he’s saying: Macron added that big tech had “killed all the platforms where it was possible for [Trump] and his supporters to express themselves."

“I don’t want to live in a democracy where the key decisions… is decided by a private player, a private social network. I want it to be decided by a law voted by your representative, or by regulation, governance, democratically discussed and approved by democratic leaders.”
— Macron

Between the lines: Apple and Google remove Parler from their app stores, and Amazon cancelled hosting services for the platform, which was popular on the far-right. Pro-Trump channels or content have also been removed by Reddit, TikTok and others.

The big picture: Macron blamed social media platforms for fueling political violence in both France and the U.S., and noted that they were used to “promote the same demonstrations” that ultimately led to Trump’s ban.

  • "The new violence in our democracies, largely linked to these social networks” is now “our new way of life," Macron said.
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