Facebook, Twitter stocks tumble after Trump ban
Twitter stock fell by as much as 10% in pre-market trading, while Facebook shares were down 4.5% by the end of Monday, after the social media companies shut down outgoing US president Donald Trump’s accounts last week.
On Friday Twitter issued a permanent ban on Trump’s account, @realDonaldTrump, citing “repeated and severe violations” of its policy and fears that he could incite further violence, after five people died at the US Capitol riots on 6 January.
Trump’s Twitter ban came after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday that Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts will be temporarily suspended, at least until Inauguration Day, in the wake of violence by the president’s supporters at the Capitol.
“We believe the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Zuckerberg said in a statement on his Facebook page, adding that the account could remain locked indefinitely.
“Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”
A mob incited by Trump stormed one of the most iconic American buildings last week, after the outgoing president requested his supporters to fight against the counting of the electoral votes that would confirm president-elect Joe Biden's win.
Following the riots, bigger tech platforms such as YouTube, Snapchat and Twitch have also taken serious action towards silencing Trump, including freezing his accounts and deleting a video in which he makes unsupported claims about the elections.
Facebook’s stock decline saw $34 billion erased from its market cap while Twitter lost $5 billion in market value, as investors feared that Trump’s ban could lead to his supporters boycotting the social media sites, according to Reuters.
The banning of Trump’s accounts has also spurred concerns among investors over the future regulation of social networks and the president’s anticipated retaliation against big tech companies.