While the move was mostly met with a mix of celebration, laughter, and outrage, investors have indicated that Trump's ban from the site could hurt the company financially. Some of the president's most devoted followers, or most deluded depending on whom you ask, would likely, or have already, left the platform due to the move. When the markets opened on Monday, shares fell as much as 10 percent, before settling closer to seven percent.
"Trump has a very high and loyal following and a lot of those eyeballs will go away if Trump is permanently restricted from posting," Andrea Cicione, head of strategy at brokerage TS Lombard, told Reuters. Facebook and YouTube are among the other platforms to have removed Trump's content, or have temporarily banned him from the site. Other social media companies did not face such a sharp drop in shares.
Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter on Jan. 8, with the company explaining it was "due to the risk of further incitement of violence." The company added that the failed insurrection of Jan. 6 was a major contributing factor towards his ban. "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," the company said.
Many of Trump's followers have believed that Twitter's decision to suspend him and numerous other accounts is a move to silence conservative voices, rather than these individuals being held accountable. Another concern for advertisers is that by utilizing the platform, they could be feeding into the polarization of customers. Republicans might be more inclined to boycott a product, for example, if it were heavily advertized on Twitter. With Parler gone, however, it remains unclear where they would organize such a boycott.
As CNN reports, the Biden administration and the Democrats could put more pressure on social media companies to moderate misleading or outright false information on their platforms, as well as content that could incite further political violence. With Democrats soon to control the House and the Senate, it is highly probable that these companies will have to crack down on such content, especially when it comes to remarks tweeted by politicians and other notable verified accounts.