Twitter was told it was "bounced" from Wednesday's meeting between tech executives and President-elect Donald Trump in retribution for refusing during the campaign to allow an emoji version of the hashtag #CrookedHillary, according to a source close to the situation.
Twitter is one of the few major U.S. tech companies not represented at Wednesday afternoon's Trump Tower meeting attended by, among others, Apple's Tim Cook, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Tesla's Elon Musk — an omission all the more striking because of Trump's heavy dependence on the Twitter platform. With some 17.3 million followers of his account, the president-elect has made Twitter into the de facto press channel of his transition operation.
Trump has had public beefs with other tech execs at the sit-down. He's criticized Cook over Apple's refusal to decrypt a cellphone whose owner was implicated in a terrorist incident, for example, and Bezos over his ownership of The Washington Post. But, it seems, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's role in what the Trump operation saw as the breaching of a deal was a step too far for those close to Trump.
The incident at issue was detailed in a Medium post last month by Gary Coby, director of digital advertising and fundraising for the Trump campaign. According to 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 message to tech companies is clear: do what Trump wants, or else the power of the government will be used against you. Twitter wouldn't take money as a social media platform to officially insult Trump's opponent, so now it will be locked out of White House access.
Actually, that message is to everyone on the planet. Better play Trump's game, because it's the only game in town, losers. You have no choice...
...or you could resist.