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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

Intel CEO calls for "moonshot" to boost U.S. role in chipmaking

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger. Photo: Horacio Villalobos - Corbis/Getty Images

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger called Monday for the U.S. to spend billions of dollars over the next few years as part of a "moonshot" designed to regain lost ground in semiconductor manufacturing. The goal, he said, is to see the U.S. again account for a third of global output, up from about 12% today.

Why it matters: Investments made now will take several years to bear fruit, so they won't do much to ease the current semiconductor shortage, but they're vital to America's long-term economic future and national security, Gelsinger told Axios on Monday.

Live events industry eyes pandemic comeback

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The "live economy" — broadway shows, concerts, music festivals and more — is in pandemic purgatory.

What's going on: Some events are getting the green light to restart as vaccinations roll out. But operators in states with audience caps are holding back as they contemplate whether it makes financial sense for the show to go on.

Ant Group gets new marching orders from regulators in China

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Uncertainty surrounding the future of China’s giant fintech company Ant Group cleared up on Monday after years of friction with its domestic regulators.

Driving the news: Ant is shedding its cool tech image and stepping into a new identity as a financial holding company — the result of forced changes by several banking and securities agencies in China.

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