Don’t expect a return from exile by the Twitterer-in-Chief — ever. Twitter CFO Ned Segal told CNBC’s Squawk Box that suspensions come and go, but bans last forever. “Our policies don’t allow people to come back” when they get suspended for promoting violence, Segal says.
Will that be the standard for all world leaders? Hmmmm:
"The way our policies work, when you're removed from the platform, you're removed from the platform whether you're a commentator, you're a CFO or you are a former or current public official," says $TWTR CFO @nedsegal on if President Trump's account could be restored. pic.twitter.com/ZZxascb9Rz
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) February 10, 2021
Asked during an interview on CNBC Wednesday whether Trump’s tweeting privileges could be restored if he wins the presidency again, CFO Ned Segal clarified that Trump’s ban is permanent.
“The way our policies work, when you’re removed from the platform, you’re removed from the platform,” he said, “whether you’re a commentator, you’re a CFO, or you are a former or current public official. Remember, our policies are designed to make sure that people are not inciting violence, and if anybody does that, we have to remove them from the service and our policies don’t allow people to come back.”
The statement comes amid Trump’s impeachment trial in Congress. If he is acquitted, Trump would not be barred from seeking the presidency or another federal office.
That’s an awful lot of business and relevance to leave on the table. Trump had nearly 100 million followers before his banishment, and his tweets made national news every day. They produced a lot of chaos and controversy too, but on strictly a business level, that worked out well for Twitter, too. Joe Biden’s Twitter feed is certainly not going to make up for that lost business, which puts Twitter in pretty much the same boat as CNN and MSNBC in the post-Trump era — looking for notable content and not finding much.
Still, one has to think that Twitter figures that dealing with this now will save itself from headaches down the road. Trump would continue to push boundaries if he returned to Twitter, which means this would become a cyclical decision. Facebook’s “supreme court” has a similar decision to make after its open-comment period on Trump’s indefinite suspension by the platform. Do they allow Trump to return on the basis of overkill by Facebook in his banishment, or would they prefer to not have to deal with Trump in the future? It’s an easier choice for Facebook, whose business model was a lot less reliant on the constant stream of attention to Trump, who mostly focused on Twitter for his rants.
And so far, the banishment isn’t hurting Twitter’s valuation. The stock price hit a new year-long high today, part of an upswing that started about the same time that they gave Trump the boot. The two are probably not related, but at the same time, it’s not hurting stockholders at all. Yet.