Twitter Inc. shares were under pressure Monday after the social-media platform deleted President Trump’s account in a move the company said was done to prevent further violence.
Shares of the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company fell more than 10% at the opening bell, erasing more than $2.5 billion from Twitter’s $41 billion market capitalization. Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc. were also lower after Trump’s accounts were removed from their platforms.
Twitter’s decision to suspend Trump’s account was made Friday, after he posted the following two tweets which the company said were in violation of its glorification of violence policy:
“The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
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“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
Trump had more than 88 million followers before his account was deleted, making him among the top six most-followed users.
The president’s removal from the platform could cause Trump supporters to continue to flee in favor of rival Parler, which is known for its lack of censorship. Conservatives and celebrities have recently reported losing thousands of followers.
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Before removing Trump’s accounts, both Twitter and Facebook blocked the president from accessing them after he posted a video telling protesters who stormed the Capitol to “go home in peace.”
The number of daily active users appears to be “slightly lower” following the U.S. election, said Citi analyst Jason Bazinet in a Jan. 7 note. The Wall Street consensus, meanwhile, is expecting a sequential increase of 7 million daily users for the fourth quarter.
The company is set to report its fourth-quarter results on Feb. 4.
Twitter shares were down 4.93% this year through Friday compared with the S&P 500’s 1.83% gain.
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