Twitter shares fall after it suspended Trump's account

Twitter shares fall after it suspended Trump's account

access_time2021-01-12 13:55:08


Twitter shares fell after the site temporarily banned President Donald Trump for his dangerous rhetoric when a mob of MAGA fans stormed the US Capitol at his behest. 

The social media giant suspended Trump's account for 12 hours on Wednesday evening after Washington, DC, was plunged into chaos as hundreds of the president's followers staged riots both outside and within the halls of Congress.  

Twitter's share price slipped 1.8 percent by closing bell on Thursday - a drop perceived to be related to its actions against Trump. 

Meanwhile Facebook - which went far further than Twitter with an 'indefinite' suspension on Trump's account - saw its shares rise by two percent on Thursday, mirroring a broader surge among top tech stocks. 

The difference between the companies' showings likely stemmed from the fact that Trump's presence on Twitter has a much bigger impact on its bottom line, according to the Wall Street Journal

The 89 million followers on Trump's main Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, represented nearly 48 percent of the company's total base of monetizable daily active users at the end of the third quarter. 

Facebook has a much larger base of 1.8 billion daily active users, and less than two percent of them - 35 million - are followers of Trump. 

Twitter's stock losses on Thursday reflect investors broader concerns about what the platform will be in a post-President Trump world, WSJ reported. 

It comes as the site faces other uncertainties with engagement, which skyrocketed in 2020 amid a volatile political climate and the coronavirus pandemic.  

Now that COVID-19 vaccines have arrived and a more moderate president is taking office, Twitter is expected to see engagement drop precipitously, closer to where it was early last year.  

Twitter has long had a tumultuous relationship with Trump, who has repeatedly skirted its rules regarding misinformation and harmful content. 

The company avoided suspending Trump entirely until Wednesday's violence, fearing the backlash that would inevitably follow silencing one of the world's most influential figures. 

The straw that broke the camel's back was a video the president posted telling his supporters inside the Capitol that he loves them and understands their frustrations - with a plea to 'go home' thrown in.  

In the video Trump also reiterated his baseless allegations that the presidential election was stolen from him. Over the past few months Twitter has on multiple occasions flagged Trump's tweets with those claims.  

Trump was reportedly livid at being blocked from Twitter, and complained to aides that he could not send messages to his followers, sources told the Daily Beast

He allegedly claimed his ban was an example of Big Tech firms trying to silence him. 

His account remained suspended for about 12 hours before being reinstated on Thursday. 

Facebook, however, stood firm on its suspension of the president's Facebook and Instagram account, which will remain in place at least until the end of his term on January 20. 

In an extraordinary blog post, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg accused Trump of using the platform 'to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government'. 


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