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Twitter shares plunge on Israel warning, facebook dives

Twitter shares were hammered Tuesday at midday following reports that Israel was weighing action against the company, adding to the growing woes of social media stocks.<br />AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL

Twitter shares were hammered Tuesday at midday following reports that Israel was weighing action against the company, adding to the growing woes of social media stocks.

Near 1800 GMT, Twitter shares were down 12.0 percent at $30.79 following comments by Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who criticized Twitter for not doing enough to counter messages that incite violence against Israel.

Shaked warned the Israeli government was considering “legal action” against Twitter, Bloomberg News reported.

“Through Twitter, the terrorist organizations promote terror and incite to violence, including public activity that they carry out without fear,” Shaked said, according to the report.

Twitter’s tumble came as social media stocks overall were under pressure following widespread criticism of Facebook over reports that a data analysis firm hired by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign misused the data of some 50 million users.

Facebook shares were down 5.3 percent following reports the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the company over the episode and whether it violated a 2011 consent decree over the handling of consumer data.

Shares of Facebook had already lost 6.8 percent on Monday.

“Facebook is unregulated and very profitable but concerns over future regulation are now at a fever pitch. Regulation would likely increase costs,” Briefing.com said in a note.

“Another risk is the increased potential for users to shun the company’s flagship social network.”

Two other social media companies also fell, with Snap losing 4.0 percent and Pandora Media giving up 3.2 percent.

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