Twitter shares gained 7.8% early Monday as the social media group begins to enforce rules that will crackdown on extremist content and possibly smooth the path for renewed takeover interest in the microblogging platform.
Twitter said it will target "specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people" in a move that will purge accounts that include "hateful imagery and display names" or those who use "a display name, or profile bio to engage in abusive behavior." The move comes amid both increasing concern that the site is being exploited by far-right and neo-Nazi users as well as the spread of so-called fake news.
Twitter shares have risen sharply since last week when when Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) - Get Report CEO Lloyd Blankfein tweeted a photo of himself alongside Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey that prompted a surge in shares and frenzied speculation of renewed deal talks.
Twitter spokeswoman Brielle Villablanca told TheStreet's sister publication, TheDeal, on Friday, Dec. 15, that Blankfein's visit to Twitter's San Francisco office was simply part of an ongoing Q&A series for employees with well-known users. "Lloyd Blankfein was in the office this week to speak to Twitter employees about leadership and his use of Twitter," Villablanca said. The Goldman CEO started tweeting in June and has amassed about 75,000 followers.
Nevertheless, speculation continues to abound about whether Twitter could be on the block again.
The stock also appears to be a getting a bump from a Monday upgrade by JPMorgan, which raised its price target on the group to $27 from $20 and shifted it recommendation to "overweight." Analyst Doug Anmuth argued the group's 2018 financials should continue to improve.
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