It's been three weeks since Fox News has posted a tweet, and since that time a number of conservative social media personalities have found themselves banned from the platform for reasons that strengthen claims of Twitter's ideologically biased double standard. In what analysts believe is a response to fears of a growing conservative backlash, Twitter's shares tumbled dramatically on Thursday.
"Shares of Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) tumbled 6 percent on Thursday after reports that Fox News had not tweeted for three weeks sparked fears of a backlash by conservatives protesting a perceived liberal bias by the company," Reuters reports.
The fall comes a day after Politico published a report noting that Fox News hadn't sent a message to its over 18 million followers since Nov. 8, a response to Twitter allowing activists to use the platform to mount a personal harassment campaign against Tucker Carlson, which included Antifa radicals converging on his house while his wife was there alone. Here's the last post by the lone right-leaning mainstream network:
In part inspired by Fox's boycott, some on the right have begun to talk more seriously about jumping off the platform amid more examples of what appear to be ideologically motivated attempts to silence those on the right. The platform has also suffered under more public scrutiny, from both the left and right, over social media platforms' handling of users' data and talks of increased regulation.
While there's certainly cause for worries about a potential exodus from the platform, some analysts are saying fears of a "snowball" effect are a bit "alarmist."
"I think the people who want to be alarmist will say this is the first step toward losing the conservatives, and that this could snowball," said FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi, Reuters reports. "But at this point, I think that’s overly alarmist, and I don’t see it as a big deal. So I see this as a buying opportunity."
In addition to the disturbing harassment of Carlson, which activists conducted in part through the platform, some popular personalities online have found themselves banned for various reasons, sometimes unexplained. One of those personalities is Laura Loomer, who chained herself to the door of Twitter's HQ on Thursday to protest the platform banning her and censoring voices on the right.
Another widely followed conservative recently banned by Twitter is radio host Jesse Kelly, who received no explanation for why he was banned even after his account was restored following massive backlash:
The platform also recently banned progressive feminist writer Meghan Murphy for questioning the premises of the transgender movement in tweets the company said violated its "hateful conduct" rules. Murphy posted the following blistering response online: "This is f**king bulls*** @twitter. I'm not allowed to say that men aren't women or ask questions about the notion of transgenderism at all anymore? That a multi billion dollar company is censoring BASIC FACTS and silencing people who ask questions about this dogma is INSANE."