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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

Complaint to FTC: Amazon search results full of potentially deceiving ads

Photo: Nigel Kirby/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Amazon does not sufficiently distinguish between its search results and paid ads, potentially "deceiving millions of consumers," according to a complaint filed to the Federal Trade Commission.

Why it matters: Joan Moriarty, research director for the Strategic Organizing Center, a coalition of labor unions that filed the complaint, told the Washington Post the group is "very hopeful" that the FTC will investigate the complaint because Lina Khan (D), a known Amazon critic, is now chair.

4 hours ago - Health

Pfizer-BioNTech: Booster doses more effective at blocking Omicron

Prepared doses of the BioNtech-Pfizer Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine in Germany on Dec. 7. Photo: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday that two doses of their COVID-19 vaccine were significantly less effective at neutralizing the Omicron variant in early lab tests, but a three-dose regimen was more effective.

Why it matters: Omicron, which has been labeled a variant of concern by the World Health Organization after being identified by scientists in South Africa last month, has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines against this specific new form of coronavirus.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden unveils "Building a Better America" branding

President Biden speaks on infrastructure while visiting a bridge in Woodstock, N.H., last month. Photo: John Tully/Getty Images

President Biden today launched a new website and unveiled bold new branding as part of a nationwide tour to sell the benefits of his infrastructure package.

Why it matters: The White House says passage of the new law shows the ability to "forge bipartisan consensus and prove our democracy can deliver big wins" even in these toxic times.

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