Twitter shares dive after Trump account suspension
- 12 January 2021
Twitter Inc’s stock tumbled over 6% on Monday after its move to permanently suspend U.S. President Donald Trump’s widely-followed account spurred concern among investors over the future regulation of social networks, APA reports citing Reuters.
The San Francisco-based social media company said on Friday its suspension of Trump’s account, which had 88 million followers, was due to the risk of further violence following the storming of the U.S. Capitol last week.
The move drew criticism from some Republicans for quelling the president’s right to free speech, while European Union Commissioner Thierry Breton said the past week’s events likely heralded a new era of heavier official control.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose relations with Trump have been frosty, criticized Twitter’s ban and warned through a spokesman that legislators, not private companies, should decide on potential curbs to free expression.
The attention drawn to Twitter increased investors’ worries that it could be more exposed to regulation than its bigger rivals Facebook Inc or Google and YouTube-owner Alphabet.
Other social media platforms, including Facebook, have issued similar bans on Trump, but Monday’s fall of as much as 12% in Twitter’s stock was much deeper than for any of its peers. Facebook was last down almost 4% and Alphabet lost 2%.
Speaking during the Reuters Next conference, Facebook’s operations chief Sheryl Sandberg said the world’s largest social network had no plans to lift its block on Trump’s accounts.