Twitter and other Big Tech giants like Facebook and Google went on the offensive in the digital war against President Donald Trump last week, suspending his accounts or blocking his access to virtually all of the major social media platforms.
Twitter’ permanent suspension of Trump’s personal account has proven to be quite consequential for the company, as its stock price fell by as much as 12% when the markets opened on Monday and the business lost upward of $5 billion in market capitalization value, the Washington Examiner reported.
That move followed Trump’s alleged incitement of the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol building last week and was ostensibly done “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” according to Twitter.
Twitter’s stock price plummets
Business Insider reported that Twitter’s decision to ban Trump — a popular if polarizing world leader with more than 88 million followers on the platform — was a costly one that wiped away a fortune in value in just one day of trading.
The free-fall began right after the opening bell and didn’t stop until Twitter’s stock price had dropped by around 12%, essentially erasing roughly $5 billion from the company’s value, harming investors and shareholders, as well as the platform’s reputation.
The prevailing theory behind the plummeting stock value is that market investors were worried that Twitter’s banning of Trump would lead to decreased interest and interactions on the social media site and a mass exodus of the president’s supporters to other alternatives.
Further, given that the suspension is also undeniably politically motivated, it lends fuel to the narrative that Big Tech firms are biased and partisan in favor of the left and are working to censor, suppress and silence conservative and independent voices that don’t adhere to left-wing orthodoxy.
Facebook and Google fall too
Fox Business reported that the mass sell-off of Twitter stock was almost instantaneous with the opening bell Monday, with the stock price dropping nearly 10% immediately after trading commenced, sending the company’s estimated $41 billion value down by more than $2.5 right off the bat.
Twitter wasn’t alone in suffering the financial consequences of silencing the president of the United States, as both Facebook and Alphabet, Inc., the parent company of Google, also suffered fiscal losses on Monday, although not quite to the stunning level as Twitter.
Both Facebook and Google, by way of video-sharing platform YouTube, took similar actions last week to strictly limit or block Trump and others associated with him from using the respective social media sites.
Blocking a world leader from using social media — which in this day and age is akin to barring somebody from speaking in the public square — is hugely monumental and is antithetical to the idea of free speech.
Twitter is paying dearly for its decision to ban Trump, and rightly so, and few on the right — or anyone else who values free speech and the open exchange of ideas — would be sorry to see that platform pay the ultimate price and go under in response to its reckless act of blatant censorship and partisan digital warfare.