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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.

Go deeper

10 mins ago - Technology

Ex-N.Y. Post digital chief files lawsuit alleging sexual harassment

Richard B. Levine) (Photo by Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

Former New York Post editor Michelle Gotthelf is suing her former employer, its parent company News Corp. and two editors, alleging she was reprimanded after complaining to senior executives that she was sexually harassed by retired N.Y. Post editor-in-chief Col Allan. The N.Y. Post issued a statement denying any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: "I felt that I owed it to myself and I owed it to the news organization and the people who answered to me," Gotthelf, who was a long time editor at the N.Y. Post, told Axios in an interview.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Political consultants pocket taxpayer cash

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Members of Congress are turning to the same political consultants who got them elected to blast out taxpayer-funded communications from their government offices, records show.

Why it matters: While those members are barred from politicking with official funds, the firms have expertise in boosting elected officials' images for political gain and are in high demand for both campaign and government work.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Transplants rebound from COVID lull
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America
  3. Politics: Government website for free COVID tests launches early
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older
  5. Variant tracker

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