Twitter Ads Rejects Tweets for "Hateful Content"

By CIS on February 20, 2019

The Center for Immigration Studies has begun documenting instances of Twitter blocking the paid promotion of tweets from our official Twitter account. Following the identification of such an ad block, the Center contacts Twitter, asking for the reason for the action so that we can ensure our future tweets are compliant. Every time we have sent such an inquiry, we have received a standard email saying the tweet contains "hateful content" without further explanation. If the Center follows up and/or receives media attention, the ad is accepted and Twitter claims it made a mistake.

The Center asks that social media outlets including Twitter elaborate on their censorship policies to clear up confusion. As Rep. Bob Goodlatte said during a July 2018 hearing on social media filtering practices, social media platforms need to "do a better job explaining how they make decisions to filter content and the rationale for why they do so."

The immigration debate is too important for all sides not to be heard.

February 15, 2019

Twitter Ads banned one tweet for "Hateful Content". The ad suggested the Border Patrol fingerprint and photograph unaccompanied minors crossing the border, for their own safety.



After inquiring into why the ad was labeled as "hateful", we received Twitter's generic response below. We have replied, pressing for a more specific explanation, and await a response.

Twitter Reply to Banning Ads for "Hateful Content"

October 3, 2018

Twitter Ads banned one tweet for "Hateful Content". The ad discussed the border crossing by a Somali who went on to commit a terrorist attack in Edmonton, Canada.



After an initial contact by the Center, Twitter Ads responded with same boilerplate message described in the September 11 incident below. The Center replied to the message by asking for a specific explanation of what content included in the tweet was "Hateful". Twitter acquiesced in their response by stating, "Apologies for any confusion, you are now eligible to use Twitter Ads."


Twitter Reply to Banning Ads for "Hateful Content"


September 11, 2018

Four tweets where banned from Twitter Ads for "Hateful Content". All used the statutory phrases "illegal alien" or "criminal alien", and all of the tweets referenced law enforcement, either at the border or in the interior. One of the tweets contained a powerful Daily Caller video showing illegal aliens in camouflage carrying large backpacks across the border unimpeded.



Twitter's only response to an inquiry about why promotion of the tweets was rejected: "We've reviewed your tweets and confirmed that it is ineligible to participate in the Twitter Ads program at this time based on our Hateful Content policy. Violating content includes, but is not limited to, that which is hate speech or advocacy against a protected group."


Twitter Reply to Banning Ads for "Hateful Content"


After extensive press coverage, Twitter Ads reversed its position and called its actions a "mistake". Twitter said this in response to media inquiries, as Tucker Carlson discusses in the video below, however it never contacted the Center in any fashion other than e-mails notifying us that the previously banned advertisements had been accepted.