Twitter said Saturday that hackers “manipulated” some of its employees to access accounts in a high-profile attack, including those of Joe Biden and Elon Musk, and apologized profusely for the breach.

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

The company said suspension of Mr 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.

At 1011 GMT, the social media firm’s U.S.-listed shares were also off 6.8 per cent 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.

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


“Expect slight user decline, though engagement erosion is a bigger question”, Berstein analysts wrote in a note looking into the issue.

Far-right groups maintain a vigorous 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.

“Incremental moderation may be welcome but it’s not cheap and could benefit Facebook that already employees a moderation army (around six times) larger than Twitter’s workforce,” Berstein analysts said.

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

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