Twitter claims to be a platform for free speech and have no political bias, yet they repeatedly stiff conservative, alt-right, and libertarian groups. Aside from their typical methods of banning people who say politically incorrect things that do not break Twitter’s set out guidelines, Twitter refused to sell their services to the Trump campaign during the general election.
Gary Coby, Director of Digial Advertising and Fundraising for the Donald Trump campaign explained in a blog post in detail about how Twitter corporate shut down the deals they had made during an advertising campaign on Twitter.
Coby outlined the deal:
- $5MM Spend Commitment
- Discounts on Promoted Trends
- Bonus Media on Other Spending
- Value Adds, such as Custom Hashtag Emojis
Coby says that Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, made restrictions to their emoji usage, emojis that would automatically be added to a tweet with a hastag, in this case #CrookedHillary.
Twitter employees that were in communication with the Trump campaign repeatedly gave excuses for legal problems with the emojis, such as a stick figure running with a bag of money, that they implied would get them in trouble with Hillary Clinton for implying she committed a crime.
After repeated conversations about these emojis Twitter told Coby that they were shutting down custom emojis for all political campaigns. Coby recounts:
But, the only other campaign large enough to have this type of deal would have been the Clinton campaign and my contacts inside TW informed me that they did not have one in place.
So basically, “cancelling for all political campaigns” really meant cancelling ONLY for Donald J. Trump’s campaign.
The Trump campaign then cancelled all other deal with Twitter for ad campaigns and promoted trends, which cost Twitter millions of dollars.
Now this story has become bigger than a hashtag that Jack Dorsey didn’t want to add emojis to, and has cost Twitter millions of dollars, and Trump still won the election. Was it worth it Jack?