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Didier Maïsto, CEO of Sud Radio. Photo supplied

Macron suspected of silencing radio critic on Twitter

The account of a well-known French radio personality Didier Maïsto was suspended by Twitter France, following numerous reports by pro-Macron surrogates according to him.

Published: April 5, 2019, 9:53 am

    “The more they want to silence me, the more I will continue,” he said. Maïsto, the CEO of Sud Radio filed a complaint against the final suspension of his account by the social network Twitter.

    On Wednesday morning, he was notified of the ban by the network because he allegedly broke the rules. It followed from a report in a conversation about Yellow Vests.

    “I have been reported massively by pro-Macron accounts opened recently and anonymously. They enjoyed a conversation about Jerome Rodriguez, who lost an eye during a demonstration. One twitto made fun of him. I told him, ‘If I came to poke you, would you find it funny?’.

    Thereafter, when in fact I had been asking for decency, I was reported to Twitter,” Didier Maïsto explained to Média d’Ici for public broadcaster France3 . For the CEO of the radio, the suspension of his account is to silence him completely, since he is very engaged in covering the Yellow Vest movement on social networks in particular. He has been successful in maintaining interest in the movement, admitted Maïsto.

    “This is clearly political censorship. I realized later that someone had added Emmanuel Macron’s Twitter account to the conversation. I’m not saying it’s him who denounced me but because he was part of the conversation, but Twitter acted very quickly. This is political censorship,” Maïsto said.

    But the CEO of Sud Radio does not want to stop following the Yellow Vests which he says is a “sensitive” issue. The station is a French privately owned radio station and was founded and created in 1958.

    “I admit that it can be disturbing. But I’m doing my duty. I denounce what should be denounced, but I also say when things are done correctly, including on the side of the police. (…) But I always try to put everything into perspective. I’m honest.

    Among the Yellow Vests, there are idiots and anti-Semites but no more than in French society as a whole. There are especially people who suffer and who want to fight for their purchasing power, for more democracy … “, explained Maïsto.

    When the CEO of Sud Radio tried to create a new account on the US social network, Twitter immediately suspended the new account too.

    Last month, Maïsto, announced that he would seize the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel, or CSA (French Media Regulatory Authority) after spurious remarks by French media personality Bernard-Henri Lévy.

    In a series of tweets Maïsto attacked Bernard-Henri Lévy – known as BHL – and announces that he would report the hate messages by BHL against the Yellow Vests. Maïsto said he was outraged by the BHL’s words.

    “Absolute scandal! #BHL, as reported by some media, insulted the #YellowVests by accusing them of ‘assaulting cops, Jews and fagots’. This is a public incitement to hatred, punishable by one year in prison and a fine of €45 000.”

    In a second tweet, Maïsto reaffirmed his intention to seize the CSA because BHL “admitted himself to be part of a European campaign for @EmmanuelMacron, badly damaging the #YellowVests”.

    BHL made similar remarks about Matteo Salvini, Italy’s Interior Minister.

    Sud Radio is heard in 29 French departments, in 7 regions which include Aquitaine, Auvergne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Limousin, Île-de-France (since August 2011, as Sud Radio+), Midi-Pyrénées and the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur.

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