Australia's Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack has criticised the decision by social media giants to ban US President Donald Trump, describing it as "censorship".
The Nationals Party leader is in the top job this week as PM Scott Morrison takes a seven-day break to spend time with his family.
Stepping straight into controversy, McCormack criticised Twitter's decision to suspend the US President's account.
"Well, I don't believe in that sort of censorship," he told ABC radio.
"But, you know, I mean there's been a lot of people who've said and done a lot of things on Twitter previously that haven't received that sort of condemnation or, indeed, censorship.
"But, again, I'm not one who believes in that sort of censorship."
McCormack's complaints of big tech "censorship" follow concerns raised by Queensland LNP MP George Christensen, Liberal MP Craig Kelly and NSW Liberal MP Dave Sharma.
The Deputy PM also compared the attack on the US Capitol with the Black Lives Matter protests earlier this year, which he described as "race riots".
"It is unfortunate that we have seen the events at the Capitol Hill that we've seen in recent days, similar to those race riots that we saw around the country last year," he said.
"These are unfortunate events and, of course, many people don't remember how you rode the horse; they remember how you dismount the horse.
"But as far as Donald Trump and his presidency is concerned and the last few days of his administration, well, that's entirely a matter for the United States of America."
Asked if President Trump had helped incite the riots with inflammatory rhetoric on social media and elsewhere, McCormack said some of the remarks were "unfortunate".
"Again, look, it's unfortunate that comments were made on Twitter. It's unfortunate that, you know, a decision has been made by the American people that hasn't been accepted by him," he said.
"But, look, again, I say that's a matter for the United States. We've got a great relationship with the United States; it's one of our greatest allies and will continue to be under the Joe Biden administration."
Ultimately, McCormack said the question of whether Trump can ever return to social media is a matter for the organisations involved.
"Well, that's a matter for Twitter. They've made that call. They've got a company, they've got a business to run and they've made that decision," he said.
"That's up to them. And people will use that platform if they feel they need to. Of course, there's a lot of things said and done on Twitter that wouldn't be said on other social media platforms. But, again, I'm on all those social media platforms and the criticism you cop on Twitter is probably far in excess than you cop on other social media platforms.
"But, again, we live in a great democracy here in Australia. I'm glad that people are generally and largely, you know, respectful of what we do here in the country in Australia. And I'm glad I live in Australia at the moment.
"It is the best country on earth as far as Covid is concerned, as far as anything else is concerned. Why would you want to live anywhere else?"
Scott Morrison released a statement today confirming his holidays after controversy just over a year ago regarding his secret holiday in Hawaii as bushfires burned across Australia. He will return to work on January 18.