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Twitter stock falls 10% as it fears MAGA attacks after Trump ban

Twitter saw its shares drop by 6 per cent Monday wiping $2 billion off the company value on the first day of trading after banning Donald Trump from the platform.  

The tech giant permanently suspended the president citing a ‘risk of further incitement of violence’ in the wake of the storming of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters. It also purged his supporters. 

Facebook on Thursday also suspended Trump’s account through January 20, the day of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, and possibly indefinitely. The suspension also applies to Instagram. 

Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said Monday the company ‘have no plans to lift’ the ban, saying: ‘Our ban’s indefinite. We have said at least through the transition, but we have no plans to lift it. No plans to lift it right now.’

‘In this moment, the risk to our democracy was too big that we felt we had to take the unprecedented step of what is an indefinite ban, and I’m glad we did,’ she added.  

The fallout of Twitter’s permanent ban on Donald Trump continued over the weekend, as his eldest son lashed out at the social media site and loyalists fled to alternatives such as Gab and Parler. Trump’s account had 88.7million followers, which is nearly half of the company’s total base of monetizable daily active users. 

‘The world is laughing at America & Mao, Lenin, & Stalin are smiling. Big tech is able to censor the President? Free speech is dead & controlled by leftist overlords,’ Don Trump Jr said in a tweet on Saturday, urging followers to join his mailing list, ‘In case I’m next.’ 

On Monday he retweeted a post which read: ‘The internet was a hell of a lot safer before @Twitter, @Apple, @Google, and @Facebook started protecting us from it’, writing: ‘This times 1000.’ 

On Friday, Twitter also permanently banned two Trump loyalists — former national security adviser Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell — as part of a broader purge of accounts promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Trump friendly platform Gab.com tweeted Monday: ‘Twitter lost $4 Billion today. LOL’ 

Twitter saw its shares drop as much as 12 per cent in early trading on Monday

Police put together barricades in anticipation of a protest outside Twitter corporate headquarters in San Francisco, California on Monday

Police put together barricades in anticipation of a protest outside Twitter corporate headquarters in San Francisco, California on Monday 

Police told The San Francisco Chronicle they are aware of a possible protest and have been in contact with the social media giant. One police car was stationed outside the building Sunday and barriers were erected, NBC reports

Police told The San Francisco Chronicle they are aware of a possible protest and have been in contact with the social media giant. One police car was stationed outside the building Sunday and barriers were erected, NBC reports

Police told The San Francisco Chronicle they are aware of a possible protest outside the company’s HQ and have been in contact with the social media giant.

There has been no official demonstration planned outside Twitter’s head office but talk online had suggested Trump fans may decided to gather their to protest the decision. 

One post on Saturday suggested those in attendance should bring ‘big’ zip ties to ‘citizen arrest violent agitators.’ Another is said to have told demonstrators to cover their faces with masks and hats. 

Twitter employees have not been in the office since March last year at the start of the coronavirus outbreak. Its CEO Jack Dorsey reportedly made the extraordinary call to permanently suspend Trump’s account Friday while he was vacationing in French Polynesia. 

San Francisco officer Adam Lobsinger said in a statement: ‘SFPD has been in contact with representatives from Twitter. We will have sufficient resources available to respond to any demonstrations as well as calls for service citywide.’ 

John Dennis, San Francisco Republican Party chairman, said: ‘When the company has an unequal application of the terms of service, you’re going to get a response.

‘It’s gonna happen. So I don’t know the specifics of this protest, but I suspect you’re going to see a lot of them.’  

Twitter said in a statement: ‘While we respect people’s right to express their views, we’ve been transparent about the factors leading up to our decision last week.

‘We have nothing to add but wanted to confirm that we continue to have mandatory work from home guidance for Twitter employees.’  

Trump friendly platform Gab.com tweeted Monday: 'Twitter lost $4 Billion today. LOL'

Trump friendly platform Gab.com tweeted Monday: ‘Twitter lost $4 Billion today. LOL’

Fueling frustrations right-wing social media site Parler also disappeared from the web and vanished from the Apple and Google app stores Monday after tech giants cut ties with the platform. 

Parler went offline shortly after 3am EST after Amazon booted the platform off its web hosting service, effectively shutting it down until it can find a new hosting partner.

Hailed by Trump supporters as a conservative-friendly alternative to Twitter, the site is seen as a magnet for the far right and was accused by Apple, Google and Amazon of continuing to allow messages inciting violence after Wednesday’s riot.

Parler, which some of the rioters had used to help plan the insurrection, was the most-downloaded app in the Apple store on Friday before both Apple and Google cut off its access to their app stores.

CEO John Matze warned in his final post before the 3am deadline that ‘we will likely be down longer than expected’ as tech firms distance themselves from the ‘free speech’ site. 

On Friday, Twitter also permanently banned two Trump loyalists — former national security adviser Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell — as part of a broader purge of accounts promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory. Twitter said it will take action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm

On Friday, Twitter also permanently banned two Trump loyalists — former national security adviser Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell — as part of a broader purge of accounts promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory. Twitter said it will take action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm

Trump, holed up at the White House, was increasingly isolated after a mob rioted in the Capitol in support of his false claims of election fraud.

Trump, holed up at the White House, was increasingly isolated after a mob rioted in the Capitol in support of his false claims of election fraud.

Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday

Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday 

Republican congressman Devin Nunes, who had an account on Parler, raged at what he said was ‘political censorship’ after Apple and Google removed the app.

‘Spread the word so your fellow Americans know about this,’ he urged his three million followers on the site.

Right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro warned on Twitter that ‘the tech bros are making a horrible and dangerous moment significantly more horrible and dangerous’.

‘There are no consistent standards being applied. There is reactionary deplatforming in the name of one side,’ he claimed.

‘Everyone on the right is correctly concerned that these same companies are five minutes away from simply removing the ability of conservatives to host content anywhere.’

The social media crackdown has revived a debate over whether tech giants should be treated as ‘publishers’ with the same liability as news providers.  

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted an image of an analytical tool showing key elected Democrats gaining tens of thousands of followers on Twitter, while key Republicans were losing them at the same rate.

‘This is how you create an echo chamber…’ Pompeo wrote.  

Journalist Glenn Greenwald on Sunday accused the tech giants of ‘feigning offense to destroy’ to Parler. He claimed ‘far more violence’ has been planned on Facebook.

He tweeted Monday to pan liberals as ‘overwhelmingly supportive’ of big tech using ‘brute force 3 times in 3 months to manipulate US politics’

Greenwald wrote: ‘Tech monopolies — FB, Google, Apple, Amazon — have more concentrated wealth & power than any in history. They have used brute force 3 times in 3 months to manipulate US politics: censoring NY Post, banning Trump, destroying Parler. And liberals are overwhelmingly supportive.

‘That these Silicon Valley monopolies are grave menaces to political freedom & economic well-being is *not* a right-wing view.

‘Authoritarians never believe they’re authoritarians, no matter how much censorship, surveillance, jingoism, & imprisonment they demand. They tell themselves their enemies are so uniquely evil and dangerous – terrorists – that anything done in the name of fighting them is noble.’  

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday the House will proceed with legislation to impeach Trump as she pushes the vice president and the Cabinet to invoke constitutional authority to force him out.

Hailed by Donald Trump supporters as a conservative-friendly alternative to Twitter, Parler is seen as a magnet for the far right and was accused by Apple, Google and Amazon of continuing to allow messages inciting violence after Wednesday's attack at the Capitol

Hailed by Donald Trump supporters as a conservative-friendly alternative to Twitter, Parler is seen as a magnet for the far right and was accused by Apple, Google and Amazon of continuing to allow messages inciting violence after Wednesday’s attack at the Capitol 

Shortly after 3am EST, Parler disappeared from the web with an error message saying 'we can't connect to the server' after Amazon pulled the plug

Shortly after 3am EST, Parler disappeared from the web with an error message saying ‘we can’t connect to the server’ after Amazon pulled the plug 

In his final post before the 3am deadline, Matze said that 'most people with enough servers to host us have shut their doors to us'

In his final post before the 3am deadline, Matze said that ‘most people with enough servers to host us have shut their doors to us’

Trump, holed up at the White House, was increasingly isolated after a mob rioted in the Capitol in support of his false claims of election fraud.

After his personal account was banned on Friday, Trump took to the @POTUS account and floated the idea that he might build his own ‘platform.’ 

A mob of Trump supporters overpowered police, broke through security lines and windows and rampaged through the Capitol on Wednesday, forcing lawmakers to scatter as they were finalizing Biden’s victory over Trump in the Electoral College. 

Banning Trump, Twitter said in a statement: ‘In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action.

‘Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open.

‘However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules entirely and cannot use Twitter to incite violence, among other things.’

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