Twitter Reverses Course, Allows Phrase 'Illegal Alien' to be Used in Promoted Tweet


Twitter allowed the Center for Immigration Studies to promote four tweets about illegal aliens for advertisement purposes Thursday after reversing a previous decision that had banned CIS from promoting the tweets.

“UPDATE: Twitter has now OK’d promotion of the 4 tweets they’d previously rejected as ‘hate’,” CIS tweeted Thursday. “I’m glad, but what are you supposed to do if can’t get on @TuckerCarlson to complain? — @MarkSKrikorian.”

The four tweets that could not get promoted, but are still on Twitter, contained the terms “alien,” “illegal alien” or “criminal alien” along with reference to law enforcement, according to a statement from CIS on Sept. 12.

A promoted tweet is a tweet for which an individual or company pays Twitter to distribute more widely than its typical tweets, according to Twitter’s website.

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“After two days of media coverage and no response to our question on what caused the denial, Twitter has approved the tweets,” CIS Director of Communications Marguerite Telford told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Turns out media coverage transforms tweets with ‘hateful content’ into acceptable tweets.

“But what if the story is not covered by The Daily Caller and Fox News? Present social media policies promote inconsistent, secret filtering policies that can and do block what is often just one side of important public debates.”

CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian appeared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Wednesday to discuss the promotion ban along with what the organization did to find out why its tweets were considered hateful.

“We looked at them and they all had ‘illegal alien’ or ‘criminal alien’ in them,” Krikorian told Carlson. “And so we said, ‘That must be it.’

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“What we did is sent them a nice note, and said, ‘Please let us know specifically what’s hateful about this because other ones weren’t that you did accept money for.’”

Krikorian called attention to the promotion ban in a Tuesday tweet after CIS could not promote a tweet that included TheDCNF’s video of people trespassing through an Arizona rancher’s farm on the southwest border.

Twitter said it rejected the tweets in error and the phrase “illegal alien” was not considered “hateful content” under Twitter’s terms of service, according to the The Daily Caller’s Check Your Fact.

Twitter considers hateful content as “(o)rganizations, groups, or individuals associated with promoting hate, criminal, or terrorist-related content” and “(h)ate speech or advocacy against a protected group” like refugee status and immigrant status, according to its prohibited content policies.

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A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website. It has been edited slightly for clarity.

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