Trump loves Twitter, or at least he loves his Twitter feed. That love does not extend to the company itself, which was not invited to a technology summit Trump held at his office on Wednesday. And the reason why, reportedly, is because Trump was angry over emoji.
Politico is reporting that Twitter was specifically told it was “bounced” from the meeting because, specifically, it didn’t let the Trump campaign create a custom emoji tied to the Crooked Hillary hashtag it was pushing:
According to [Trump digital strategy director Gary] Coby, Dorsey personally intervened to block the Trump operation from deploying — as part of a $5 million deal between the social media company and the campaign — an emoji showing, in various renderings, small bags of money being given away or stolen. That emoji would have been offered to users as a replacement for the hashtag #CrookedHillary, a preferred Trump insult for his Democratic opponent.
The Trump campaign claims this was political, and that Twitter’s left-wing ideology got in the way, an odd stance to take on a company that took $5 million from Trump and has, in recent weeks, begun verifying neo-Nazis. The issue, however, was legal, according to what Twitter told Coby. Specifically, Coby relays that Twitter stated, “We couldn’t accuse someone of committing a crime they did not commit or were not under investigation for.” Twitter was concerned that the Clinton campaign would file suit.
Before you laugh that off, consider that a few emoji were enough to land a 12-year-old in jail, so a lawsuit over emoji is far from unlikely. Even if Clinton ultimately lost the suit, Twitter would still be the ones paying the court cost.
Either way, Twitter appears to be on the outs with Trump. Or, at least, the executive suite is: Trump tweeted just three hours ago, as of this writing.