- Twitter is "toxic" for women, short-seller Andrew Left said Thursday. He called it "the Harvey Weinstein of social media."
- Left cited a study from Amnesty International that claims Twitter fails to "effectively tackle violence and abuse on the platform," undermining women's mobilization for equality and justice.
- He says Twitter's stock will plunge more than 30% from current levels.
- Watch Twitter trade live.
Twitter will plunge more than 30% from its current price of about $30 a share because the social-media platform is "toxic" for advertisers and investors, the short-seller Andrew Left's Citron Research said Thursday.
"Twitter has become the Harvey Weinstein of social media - new price target - $20," wrote Citron Research in a note out Thursday.
The New York Times was the first to report sexual-harassment allegations against Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul, in October 2017. The NYT report was followed up by a New Yorker story that detailed more allegations. In all, more than 60 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Because of his case, the actress Alyssa Milano encouraged victims of sexual harassment to tweet about it, triggering the #MeToo social-media movement that went viral globally.
While Twitter played a huge role in the #MeToo movement, Citron, citing a study from Amnesty International, says the social-media platform has ironically become a place that is "toxic" for women, especially those of color.
"Twitter's failure to effectively tackle violence and abuse on the platform has a chilling effect on freedom of expression online and undermines women's mobilization for equality and justice - particularly groups of women who already face discrimination and marginalization," Amnesty International's study said.
"Overall, our findings paint a worrying picture that Twitter can be a toxic place for its female users. The company's failure to meet its responsibilities regarding violence and abuse means that many women are no longer able to express themselves freely on the platform without fear of violence or abuse."
Because of this, Citron said Twitter was "uninvestable" and "'toxic' to investors and advertisers."
"Twitter has publicly committed to improving the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation on our service," Vijaya Gadde, Twitter's legal, policy and trust & safety global lead said in a statement.
"Twitter's health is measured by how we help encourage more healthy debate, conversations, and critical thinking. Conversely, abuse, malicious automation, and manipulation detract from the health of Twitter. We are committed to holding ourselves publicly accountable towards progress in this regard."
Citron also likes the electric-vehicle industry. In November, it said it sees a more than 60% upside for Nio, widely seen as the Tesla of China. That announcement came weeks after the firm turned bullish on Tesla, saying the company is "destroying the competition."
Twitter shares tanked more than 12% to an intraday low of $28.52 following Citron's note. The stock was up 22% this year.