Twitter helps hate groups reach new people, and profits in the process.
Yesterday, while I was writing an article about how Twitter is emailing me white supremacist propaganda, Twitter suggested that “I might like” the Federation for American Immigration Reform. They didn’t do it for free, it was a sponsored suggestion.
At first glance, it seems fine. Their name spells out “fair.” Who doesn’t like fair immigration?
It doesn’t take much detective work to determine that there’s nothing “fair” about them.
FAIR is an anti-immigrant extremist organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center designated a hate group in 2008. The Anti-Defamation League calls them “an extreme anti-immigrant group founded by the racist John Tanton.”
The ADL also says that “FAIR tempers its language so as to appear as a mainstream group in front of the media and government agencies.” In fact, I have seen people on Twitter follow them without appearing to understand their true nature.
So, maybe Twitter has been bamboozled by FAIR, and is an innocent victim in all this?
Unfortunately for Twitter, the box that suggested I might like FAIR also suggested alt-right conspiracy theorists Mark Dice and Jack Posobiec.
At some point, Twitter runs out of plausible deniability.
FAIR doesn’t limit its attacks on immigration to illegal immigration. According to the ADL, “It has consistently supported a moratorium on legal immigration to the United States, suggesting that only spouses and young children of U.S. citizens and ‘some’ legitimate refugees should be allowed into the country.”
Notice there’s no mention of work visas as an exception to their proposed moratorium. I won’t link to their website, but in May of 2020, they wrote a letter to the president “urging him to suspend all guestworker programs.”
According to a San Jose Mercury News article from 2018, 71% of tech employees in Silicon Valley are foreign-born. If FAIR had their way, none of them would be here. Imagine what it must feel like to build a platform for a group that wants you removed from this country.
Twitter is taking money from and helping to advance the agenda of an extremist hate group. That group is harmful to our economy, harmful to Twitter’s own employees, and harmful to the most vulnerable people living in our country.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently donated $25 million to help, among others, undocumented residents of San Francisco. Coincidentally, that’s just under the $27 million dollars in revenue that FAIR reported in 2018, the most recent year available. That’s money that Twitter helped them raise, by accepting some of the $4 million that they spent on advertising.
I appreciate Jack’s generosity, as I’m sure the people who will benefit from it do. I imagine they’d also appreciate it if he’d stop supporting an organization whose mission it is to deport them.