Twitter shares slumped after Trump’s suspension

Twitter’s German-listed shares slumped as much as eight per cent on Monday, the first trading day after it permanently suspended US President Donald Trump’s account late last Friday.

The company suspended Trump’s account, which had more than 88 million followers, due to the risk of further violence, following the insurrection at US Capitol last Wednesday.

At 1011 GMT, the social media firm’s US-listed shares were also off 6.8 per cent at $47.94 in thin premarket trading, according to Reuters.

It was the first time Twitter banned a head of state, sparking a worldwide controversy over the impact US tech giants can have on free speech and democracy more broadly.

For Twitter’s balance sheet itself, the decision to ban the US president is expected to have a moderate negative impact.

“Expect slight user decline, though engagement erosion is a bigger question,” Berstein analysts wrote in a note looking into the issue.

Far-right groups maintain a vigorous online presence on digital platforms like Parler, Gab, MeWe, Zello and Telegram and could disengage from mainstream social media. There could also be additional costs for Twitter and others as they seek to further moderate content uploaded by their users.

“Incremental moderation may be welcome but it’s not cheap and could benefit Facebook that already employs a moderation army (around six times) larger than Twitter’s workforce,” Berstein analysts said.

Facebook and Instagram also suspended Trump’s account indefinitely.

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