Facebook saw its stock drop on Monday, amid an unprecedented Big Tech crackdown on social media’s most famous user.
The company’s market cap fell by $34 billion after it indefinitely suspended President Donald Trump’s account, Business Insider reported.
Facebook, Twitter shares drop amid Big Tech crackdown
Facebook made the move after a mob of Trump supporters stormed Capitol Hill on Wednesday. The riot has prompted massive outcry against Trump, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg claiming the risk of letting Trump use Facebook is “simply too great.”
In a shocking move, Twitter permanently suspended its most famous user Friday, and a series of retaliatory moves have followed from Big Tech and Wall Street.
With investors fearing backlash, Facebook’s stock fell by as high as 4.5 percent on Monday, resulting in a $33.6 billion loss in value before shares recovered.
“These moves, whether you consider them justified or not, could well see them lose further users if they become seen as arbiters of what is considered politically correct or acceptable,” said Michael Hewson, chief analyst at CMC Markets UK, told Reuters.
Wall Street targets Trump
Amazon stock also dropped as much as 2 percent after the company shut down Parler, a right-wing alternative to Twitter, prompting a lawsuit.
Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg said Monday that the company has no plans to lift the ban on Trump. The company will also censor the Trump rallying cry “stop the steal” ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration next week.
“Our ban is indefinite. We’ve said at least through the transition, but we have no plans to lift it,” she said. “We’ve been very clear. There’s obviously so much happening and this is such a big step. We will definitely let people know and be very transparent about any changes to that.”
The Big Tech purge has prompted alarm about the future of free speech from a range of critics, from Trump to Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel.
The tumult in the stock market comes even as Trump is facing retaliation from Wall Street, with his largest lender, Deutsche Bank, moving to drop him on Tuesday.