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Yahoo News faces Twitter’s wrath over ad with anti-immigrant message
Both Democrats and Republicans could stand to be a little more collaborative, is the message Yahoo News attempted to express in new ads for its app. But the company may now regret exactly which issues it chose to illustrate a middle ground on.
A recent advertisement shows a blue wall and red wall—both with barbed wire—intersecting to indicate two viewpoints. One wall reads “Immigrants Enrich Us,” and the other says “Immigrants Endanger Us.” The walls come together to make purple. “See all sides,” the copy says.
The ad didn’t blow over too well. Several Twitter users called out the false equivalence it suggested, explaining that one side is based in fact and the other in fear. “@YahooNews perched right in the intersect of freedom and fascism,” one user wrote.
Hey @YahooNews, this isn't a "side" to the issue b/c there's no evidence that immigrants cause crimes at higher rates than others. In fact, they're more likely to be the victim of a crime. Stop legitimizing "sides" of an issue that are based in fear & bigotry rather than reality
— Miranda Willson (@MirandaJWillson) November 29, 2018
This is a visualization of what it looks like when someone tries to be unbiased and noncontroversial on issues that require a position be taken. Centrists would have you believe there is a middle ground in every debate. That position is nihilism masquerading as journalism. @greta
— Nicholas Mororless (@NYaciuk) November 29, 2018
The Morpheus model does not always apply, people pic.twitter.com/xRu4z1gXLu
— T-Nice (@porasidecirl0) November 29, 2018
Other users began making their own versions, pitting viewpoints like “Genocide is bad” versus “Genocide is not bad” against each other to highlight how ridiculous it is to insist there’s a middle ground for every issue.
— Papa_Shell (@Papa_Shell) November 29, 2018
looking forward to more hard-hitting stuff from the good folks at yahoo news pic.twitter.com/rYBWCnQMZI
— Sarshimus P (@snoodmonger) November 29, 2018
— Charkie (@charkie) November 29, 2018
Given the reaction, it’s likely users won’t be thrilled to learn this is only one ad in a series. Other variations include “Healthcare Is a Right” as opposed to “Healthcare Is a Privilege” and “Save the Environment” versus “Stimulate the Environment” (whatever that means).
— ishmael n. daro (@iD4RO) November 19, 2018
“Yahoo News has a long history as a non-partisan news organization, with a mission to present divergent perspectives,” a Yahoo News spokesperson told BuzzFeed News after the pushback. The ads were intended to “reflect the current state of our country, and the polarizing conversations taking place on a number of issues.”
H/T Buzzfeed News
Alyse Stanley is a video game and culture reporter based in Virginia with words at Polygon and USGamer. When she’s not writing about memes, she edits Unwinnable’s monthly magazine. You can follow her on Twitter @pithyalyse.