DONALD Trump’s campaign staff have claimed that Twitter refused to create an emoji for the popular #CrookedHillary hashtag during the election.
The president-elect often slammed the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, dubbing her “Crooked Hillary” at campaign rallies, referencing her alleged involvement in a series of scandals.
As a part of the Trump campaign’s social media strategy, they had agreed with the social networking site to spend large sums of money on promoted tweets and unique content – including emojis that would accompany campaign hashtags.
However the president-elect’s digital director Brad Parscale has now claimed that “Twitter restricted us” when the company refused to accompany the #CrookedHillary hashtag with an emoji showing a moneybag with wings.
The Trump campaign’s digital director of advertising and fundraising, Gary Coby, later claimed on Twitter that Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, “personally” made the call “to restrict us”.
Those in the Trump campaign who dealt with Twitter’s advertising team claim the social network “feared litigation” from Hillary Clinton should they have used the emoji.
Responding to the claims it refused the #CrookedHillary emoji, Twitter said in a statement: “We have had specific discussions with several political organisations, including the Trump campaign, regarding branded emojis as part of broad advertising campaigns on Twitter.
“We believe that political advertising merits a level of disclosure and transparency that branded political emojis do not meet, and we ultimately decided not to permit this particular format for any political advertising.”
Twitter’s advertising policy prevents advertisers from promoting certain sensitive topics including hate speech or discrimination against race, ethnicity, colour, religion and sexual orientation.
Since the election, Twitter has suspended several accounts linked to the “alt-right” movement.
The company, which has also been under criticism for not doing enough to thwart cyber bullying, said that it would upgrade some features to curb abusive behaviour.
Mr Dorsey also had to apologise last week after Twitter let through an advert promoting a white supremacist group.
“We made a mistake here and we apologize. Our automated system allowed an ad promoting hate. Against our policy. We did a retro and fixed,” Dorsey tweeted.
The advert was titled: “New Article: The United States Was Founded as a White People’s Republic on NEW ORDER website” showed eight white children in a field.
It was tweeted from an account with the handle “@NEW_ORDER_1488”.
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