Angela Merkel Is Quitting Facebook

(Bloomberg) -- Angela Merkel doesn’t need her Facebook Inc. account any more.

The German chancellor, who plans to leave politics after her term ends, will close her official page on the network because she’s no longer heading her Christian Democratic Union party, she said Friday in a video message posted on the platform.

“Today is the day I want to thank you for the strong support of my Facebook page,” Merkel said in the clip. “You know I’m not the head of the CDU anymore and that’s why I will close down my Facebook page.”

Merkel’s shuttering a page that has about 2.5 million likes -- more than French President Emmanuel Macron, and the most of any German politician. It lists her hobbies, including going to the opera, hiking and gardening; her favorite movie -- the 1985 romantic drama “Out of Africa,” starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep; and her personal dream: taking a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok.

Europe’s biggest economy has been difficult terrain for social networks after Merkel’s government last year started enforcing the continent’s toughest law aimed at reducing hate speech and fake news -- threatening to fine the likes of Facebook, Twitter Inc., and Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube as much as 50 million euros ($57.3 million) if they failed to delete illegal posts.

Merkel won’t be absent from all social media. The chancellor said the public can get updates on her work from the Facebook page of the German government. And for true Merkel aficionados -- there’s still her Facebook-owned Instagram page.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.