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Twitter shares slump 8% after Trump account suspension

Twitter’s German-listed shares slumped as much as 8% on Monday (January 11), the first trading day after it permanently suspended U.S. President Donald Trump’s account late on Friday (January 8).

The company said suspension of Trump’s account, which had more than 88 million followers, was due to the risk of further violence, following the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday (January 6).

At 1011 GMT, the social media firm’s U.S.-listed shares were also off 6.8% at $47.94 in thin premarket trading.

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

Social media companies have come under increased scrutiny over the way they influence politics and elections in recent years, with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifying before the U.S. Senate in October 2020, saying that “more accountability was needed” from his company’s operations.

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

Far-right groups maintain a vigourous 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.

Facebook Inc has suspended Trump’s account until at least the end of his presidential term later this month.

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