The deplorables — and Meghan Markle? — strike back at Big Tech

Late last week, after a "fiery but mostly peaceful protest" in Washington DC, a slew of Big Tech media companies including Amazon, Twitter, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Reddit began deplatforming — i.e., censoring, dropping, un/dehosting (I can make up words, too), banning, dropping, purging, suspending from their sites — sometimes permanently — people and/or institutions with whom they disagreed, most prominently President Donald J. Trump (R).  Twitter Safety lamely justified its censorious action:

After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.

In a parallel, but unrelated, social media development, more shocking news filtered out Saturday when the millions of followers of Meghan Markle and her husband (formerly known as a Prince) Harry learned:

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have abandoned social media and will no longer use platforms such as Twitter or Facebook.

Harry and Meghan, who amassed more than 10 million Instagram followers as working royals, are rejecting social media as part of their new "progressive role" in America. A source close to the couple said they had "no plans" to use social media for their new Archewell Foundation and were "very unlikely" to return to platforms in a personal capacity.

The couple are understood to have become disillusioned by the "hate" they encountered on social media. Meghan has spoken about the "almost unsurvivable" experience of online trolling.

"Wh-a-a-t?!" millions shrieked!  This loss, combined with the wrongthink earlier purging, deplatforming, dropping, unhosting, or otherwise disappearing, prompted millions to do the same.  Casting aside the dominant social media sites, they turned to increasingly popular alternative sites such as Gab, MeWe and Parler.  But then...boom!  Google, Amazon, and Apple have disappeared Parler on some pretense.  Stating that this tech ban is a form of assault, Parler CEO John Matze announced plans to sue but as of now is unreachable.

But these widely reported punitive actions have had consequences.  On Monday morning, an earthquake struck Twitter: "Twitter shares drop in first trading day after Trump ban."

The company crashed as much as 12% before closing the day down 6%, erasing as much as $1 billion (with a B) of value.

Meanwhile, other social media companies also traded lower after taking actions against Trump.  Facebook, which extended an initial 24-hour suspension to an indefinite one, closed down 4%.  Snap and Pinterest each traded lower in the morning before recovering.  Snap gained 3% on Monday, while Pinterest dipped less than 1%.

On Tuesday, in a relatively flat market, both Twitter's and Facebook's slide continued but at a much gentler decline and were the most active in dollar volume. 

Straight cause and effect?  Not quite, as there were other reasons for Twitter's steep decline and the decrease for the others, but the ban was undoubtedly a major factor.  How these tech stocks will do in the coming days and months remains to be seen of course but it is clear that the deplorables are refusing to bow to the tech lords.  And it is affecting the tech lords' bottom line.  That's a loud message.  Are they being heard?  Again, remains to be seen.

However, on Tuesday either Twitter's good public policy twin and/or a deviously calculating evil twin issued a  series of tweets advocating a free and open internet while discussing...Uganda's elections!...in direct opposition to its attitudes regarding...American elections, causing saner heads to spin — and causing mine to speculate on Twitter's unseen underwater iceberg's destructive intentions.

So do your part and get your message out loud and clear!  Maybe, just maybe, you'll be heard.

Image: Mark Jones via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.