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Jack Dorsey Exposed: How Twitter’s CEO Restricted Advertising For Trump’s Campaign

Friday, November 18, 2016 18:50
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(Before It's News)

"[email protected]/twitter-restricts-trump-eb7e48ccf5ff#.bb90yek8s"
target="_blank">Submitted by Gary Coby, Director of Digital
Advertising and Fundraising for Donald Trump, via

On Sunday, I tweeted…

We had an “upfront deal” with Twitter, which is a common setup
where we commit to spending a certain amount on advertising and in
exchange receive discounts, perks, and custom solutions.

Our upfront deal was signed in August.

Deal Highlights:

  • $5MM Spend Commitment
  • Discounts on Promoted Trends
  • Bonus Media on Other Spending
  • Value Adds, such as Custom Hashtag Emojis

We also had several promoted trends reserved/purchased:

  • 7/21 RNC Day 4
  • 9/26 1st Debate
  • 10/9 2nd Debate
  • 11/5 Sun Before Election Day


Twitter—or well, Dorsey—restricted us on the most unique part of
our deal, the custom hashtag emojis, of which we had two.

It’s an emoji tied to a specific hashtag. When anyone uses that
hashtag, the emoji is automatically added at the end.

We planned to launch both of our emojis for the first debate.
One was a contrasting emoji for the popular #CrookedHillary. They
were going to be featured in our promoted trend for maximum


At the beginning of September, I outlined several possible emoji
concepts for the TW creative team to make.

About 2 weeks before the 9/26 debate, the TW team provided
several designs that were pre-approved by their legal and
policy teams
. One included was a hand receiving a

alt="Twitter" width="500" height="106" />

Next, I met with TW in NY, at Trump Tower, to tweak the already
approved emoji designs. Pushing the envelope, the hand/moneybag
emoji evolved into a running stick figure with a moneybag:

alt="Twitter" width="375" height="118" />

The TW team thought this had a good chance of getting approved
since all that changed was a hand to a stick figure.

Sure, it was more aggressive and eye-catching, but that was the
goal. I was fine with the hand/moneybag emoji, which was already
approved, so I figured we might as well see if we can go

Well, I was wrong.

Day after day, TW wouldn’t give us an official yay/nay and my
contacts inside TW told me the new design was causing a lot of
heartburn and “big meetings” with folks at the top.

"[email protected]" target=
"_blank">Jack Dorsey
was never named, just target="_blank" href="/r2/?url=[email protected]"
target="_blank">Adam Bain

I wasn’t too worried because our plans could continue with the
hand/moneybag emoji, even if they denied the more aggressive

Then, finally, a couple days before the first presidential
debate, TW reached out for a call with Dan Greene, VP of US


  • Newly evolved running stick figure emoji was not approved.
  • Approval on the previously OK’d (hand/moneybag) emoji was
    pulled back and was no longer allowed to be used.
  • Twitter’s reason: We couldn’t accuse someone of
    committing a crime they did not commit or were not under
    investigation for. (Seriously, they said this.)
  • They claimed to fear litigation from HRC.
  • I told them we were trying to show she’s gotten wealthy from
    public office—they did not budge.
  • I asked, why we were able to use (still approved) emojis that
    showed emails being destroyed or phones being destroyed (which
    could also represent committing a crime)—they could not
  • I asked, if the Clinton Foundation were being investigated for
    financial crimes, could we use it—they said
  • Dan apologized and admitted TW’s
    in pulling back an emoji that was previously

To me, this was clearly a BS reason that was made up to
give them an out.
I was also confidentially told from TW
staff that the running stick figure emoji reached Adam Bain, COO,
and he personally put a stop to it.

Given that TW had pulled back a previously approved emoji and
disrupted our strategy for the debate just days before, we
cancelled our promoted trend (costing them hundreds of thousands of


The next plan was to launch with the second presidential debate.
TW, admitting wrongdoing for how they handled the first,
extended a $50K discount (“make good”) so we would agree to keep
our next trend and give this another shot.

I took them at their word and proceeded. Foolish of


  • Worked with TW team and our internal creative team to create a
    moneybag with wings emoji:

alt="Twitter" width="500" />

  • Knowing I needed to appease TW’s legal team, I sent it with an
    explanation to help fend off the HRC lawyers they feared.
  • Explanation: “The emoji represents govt waste and money flying
    away from taxpayers. Our internal polling has shown this to be a
    top issue for voters and it’d be inappropriate to restrict us from
    being able to discuss this important topic.”
  • Wednesday 10/5, we receive approval from their policy and legal

alt="Twitter" width="500" />

  • Thursday, 10/6, we have a call with their comms team to plan
    the rollout, including the list of media they’ll be leaking the
    story and emojis to.
  • Slated to launch at 3am ET on Saturday 10/8, with press teasers
    to go out on Friday 10/7, driven by their comms team.

alt="Twitter" width="500" />

  • Friday 10/7 PM, hours before launch, TW asks for a
    call, with Jack Dorsey, CEO, Adam Bain COO, and Dan Greene, VP US
  • My internal TW contacts informed me that on Thursday night,
    10/6, TW CEO, Jack Dorsey, personally killed the
    emoji and notified his senior staff.
  • I asked if “There’s going to be another BS legal reason like
    last time” and they responded, “No, Jack just killed it,
    there isn’t one.”
    They were shocked that this was
  • On the call, Jack and Adam
    started with a lovefest by telling us how great our use of the
    platform has been. They then told us a last-minute legal review was
    triggered and they needed to pull the emoji because there wasn’t a
    paid-for-by disclaimer. (Again. Seriously, they said this.)
  • However, both DNC and RNC conventions had custom emojis
    this cycle and they did not use disclaimers.

alt="Twitter" width="432" height="536" />

  • It’s also been reported that a top FEC official has said “the
    agency does not regulate emojis and that such transparency isn’t
    required on tweets.”
  • Jack and Adam apologized
    repeatedly and offered a new incentives package to keep our
    promoted trend that was just a day away.

We told them it was BS and what they were doing with a public
platform was incredibly reckless and dangerous. We voiced that it
was clearly a political move and telling us otherwise was just

Jack maintained their talking points and stayed
on message. He also pushed back on it being one-sided, because they
were “stopping this feature for ALL political campaigns.”

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

In return, I cancelled our 10/9 and 11/5 promoted trends.
Further, I pulled all persuasion and lead gen spending,
costing Twitter millions of dollars.

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height="1" width="1" alt="" />


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