News

Politics & Policy

Twitter Stock Falls 20 Percent Following Fake-Account Purge

Jack Dorsey, CEO and co-founder of Twitter speaks at the Consensus 2018 blockchain technology conference in New York. City, New York, May 16, 2018. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

Twitter shares plummeted during Friday trading following release of the first quarterly earnings report since the company purged millions of fraudulent accounts from its platform.

After gaining roughly 80 percent on the year — and despite the company’s having posted a profit of $134 million this quarter, its third consecutive quarter in the black — Twitter stock fell by roughly 21 percent Friday. The decline appeared to be due to investor concerns about the social-media platform’s stagnating user growth. Twitter’s user count fell by 1 million to 355 million this quarter. The company reportedly began purging roughly 1 million accounts daily in an effort to facilitate conversational “health” on its platform.

“[Health] is one of those things like security or privacy,” CEO Jack Dorsey reportedly said on the Friday earnings call, “where companies have to evolve and companies have to stay ten steps ahead as you learn the dynamics of the network and get better and better. We have made some meaningful progress . . . but there’s still a lot ahead.”

Twitter’s efforts to combat hateful speech and misinformation prompted criticism this week after a Vice News report revealed that the accounts of prominent conservatives, such as RNC chair Ronna McDaniel and a number of Republican lawmakers, were not auto-populating in users’ search windows.

The phenomenon, apparently the result of an algorithm designed to reduce the visibility of hate-mongering accounts, seemingly bolstered Republican lawmakers’ argument that Twitter systematically discriminates against conservatives.

Representative Matt Gaetz (R., Fla.), who aggressively questioned Twitter executives regarding alleged bias in two congressional hearings, has threatened to file a Federal Elections Committee complaint over the company’s treatment of his account.

“The evidence is piling up that I am being treated differently on Twitter than people on the political left and I don’t like that because I enjoy the Twitter platform, I enjoy the engagement, I enjoy the candor,” Gaetz told the Daily Caller. “I would think that having won my election with 69 percent of the vote to serve in the Congress that the marketplace of ideas could accommodate my views.”

“I am contemplating a complaint with the FEC, because if my political opponents have better access to the Twitter platform than I do, that’s no different than a private company giving my political opponents access to a billboard or television time or radio time,” Gaetz added. “That wouldn’t be equal.”

Most Popular

Film & TV

America’s Favorite Movie

For more than a decade, readers volunteering their ratings on the movie site IMDb have declared The Shawshank Redemption (1994) their favorite film of all time. (Number two is The Godfather). Unlike the unholy tablets that are the box office charts, which are strongly linked to marketing budgets and show a ... Read More
Film & TV

America’s Favorite Movie

For more than a decade, readers volunteering their ratings on the movie site IMDb have declared The Shawshank Redemption (1994) their favorite film of all time. (Number two is The Godfather). Unlike the unholy tablets that are the box office charts, which are strongly linked to marketing budgets and show a ... Read More
Media

The Media Owe Senator Tom Cotton an Apology

One of the biggest issues people have with the mainstream press these days is that some of its members are so insulated that they end up buying into and promoting false narratives without actually checking these narratives' veracity. That seems to be exactly what happened in mid February, when major outlets ... Read More
Media

The Media Owe Senator Tom Cotton an Apology

One of the biggest issues people have with the mainstream press these days is that some of its members are so insulated that they end up buying into and promoting false narratives without actually checking these narratives' veracity. That seems to be exactly what happened in mid February, when major outlets ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Welcome Back, Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic bags are a miracle of modern technology. Cheap, light, convenient, and ubiquitous, they provide an elegant solution to a problem. If you recycle them, as most people do, and put your rubbish in them, that creates a net reduction in carbon emissions compared with buying the heavier, thicker ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Welcome Back, Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic bags are a miracle of modern technology. Cheap, light, convenient, and ubiquitous, they provide an elegant solution to a problem. If you recycle them, as most people do, and put your rubbish in them, that creates a net reduction in carbon emissions compared with buying the heavier, thicker ... Read More
World

All Signs Point to China

Just one big story today: collecting and sorting through what we know about the coronavirus's origins, and what makes sense and what doesn’t in the theory that it originated from someone eating bats or pangolins from the Huanan Seafood Market. What We Know and What We Don’t Know about the Source of ... Read More
World

All Signs Point to China

Just one big story today: collecting and sorting through what we know about the coronavirus's origins, and what makes sense and what doesn’t in the theory that it originated from someone eating bats or pangolins from the Huanan Seafood Market. What We Know and What We Don’t Know about the Source of ... Read More
World

How to Make China Pay

One of the big questions facing the international community today is how to hold China legally and politically accountable for all its dishonesty and harm to people around the world. According to reports, U.S. intelligence agencies have confirmed to the White House that China has deliberately understated the ... Read More
World

How to Make China Pay

One of the big questions facing the international community today is how to hold China legally and politically accountable for all its dishonesty and harm to people around the world. According to reports, U.S. intelligence agencies have confirmed to the White House that China has deliberately understated the ... Read More