Short seller Andrew Left of Citron Research is walking back his position on Twitter just one month after calling it the “Harvey Weinstein of social media.”
On Friday Left released new research that says Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's presence on Twitter “is exactly what the platform needed.” This changes his view of the company in a December 20 report, where he cited an Amnesty International advisor's remark that Twitter was “a place where racism, misogyny, and homophobia are allowed to flourish basically unchecked.”
As a result of these concerns, Left believed at the time that the company should drop to $20 a share, down from a closing price of $29.29 on December 20.
Now consider Ocasio-Cortez, who was elected in November to represent New York’s fourteenth district in the House of Representatives. She has created a buzz on Twitter with sharp-witted remarks under the moniker @AOC, and recently taught her fellow Democrats in Congress how to use the platform, Left noted in his research.
“All the sudden, freaking AOC comes on, she chooses of all things to make Twitter her platform,” Left said by phone Friday.
According to Left’s latest report, Google searches for Ocasio-Cortez's Twitter handle spiked in late December. He pointed to a news report this month by Axios that named Ocasio-Cortez the second most powerful Twitter user behind President Donald Trump.
“The AOC Twitter phenomenon is stronger than any report from Amnesty International or any survey that shows millennials have lost interest in Twitter,” according to Left’s report.
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So what exactly helps Ocasio-Cortez stand out on the platform, according to Left?
“She’s not afraid to speak her mind, just like Trump,” Left said by phone, noting that what the two have in common is confidence. A spokesperson for Ocasio-Cortez did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
While her presence on Twitter did not push Left to make a valuation call on the company, he said the congresswoman should stabilize its monthly number of users while attracting a new generation to the social media platform. In December, Left believed that Twitter would lose users.
“The one thing that made me scared of it, that’s gone,” Left said of the company by phone.
Twitter’s shares were up almost 3.8 percent on Friday afternoon, trading at about $32.80 around 3 p.m., according to Nasdaq data. A spokesperson for Twitter declined to comment on Left’s latest report.