Did Twitter Suffer for Banning Trump?
Not based on available data on traffic and tweeting.
We’ve written at length about Donald Trump’s use of Twitter, both the good and the bad. We won’t rehash that here. What we are interested in is how Twitter has fared after its widely publicized banning of Trump while he was still president.
Surely, denying the president of the United States use of the public square for his own free speech would bring severe consequences for a company like Twitter, especially if the 74 million Americans who supported Trump in November or the 90 million who followed him on the platform took their ball and went home.
“Trump’s ban doesn’t even register as a blip on Twitter’s growth this year, which has continued unabated after his ban,” wrote Kalev Leetaru of RealClear Media recently. In fact, Twitter’s traffic did so well that Leetaru believes the social media giant “may feel more emboldened to silence other prominent voices, safe in the knowledge that doing so won’t impact its growth.”
The traffic stats are interesting. Leetaru notes that while Twitter doesn’t divulge its full statistics, “it is possible to estimate its growth from the daily random sample that it makes available of 1% of all tweets, which is highly correlated with its actual growth.” He writes, “Since its peak in July 2013, Twitter was on a years-long decline through the end of 2018, but had begun slowly growing again over the course of 2019. Then, in the space of just two weeks in the middle of March 2020, as lockdowns swept the world, the platform grew by almost 100 million tweets a day, rising back to its July 2013 numbers.”
That growth continued through 2020 with one exception. The biggest blip in the last year seems to have been Twitter’s late-October push to censor election news that would hurt Joe Biden. But Twitter recovered from that traffic drop, and Jack Dorsey’s outfit helped in accomplishing the Left’s mission: defeating Trump.
Thus, we’re left to conclude once again that unless the market of users chooses to punish Twitter for its censorship, Big Tech will roll on.
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