Demonstrators march through downtown calling for the abolition of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on August 16, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.

Hootsuite Drops ICE Contract After Employee Calls Them Out on Twitter

See? Twitter can be used for good.
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In the wake of public backlash, Hootsuite has decided to terminate their contract with the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The social media and marketing company was called out by an employee on Twitter, Sam Anderson aka @Samelaanderson, who tweeted, “Been debating talking about this publicly because I don’t want to get fired, but it seems like the cat’s already out of the bag so whatever: yesterday Hootsuite signed a three-year deal with ICE. Over 100 employees have been extremely vocal in their opposition to this deal since it first came to light in June and it went through anyway.”

Anderson’s thread touched upon employees’ frustration and anger at the deal, including Mexican Hootsuite employees being harassed and targeted by ICE. They also touched on the company’s surface level commitment to inclusivity as a B Corporation, while making deals with a government agency that relentlessly pursues human rights violations.

The thread quickly went viral, earning nearly 10K retweets and 26K likes. Hootsuite quickly reversed gears and put out a statement saying they were no longer working with ICE.

Hootsuite CEO Tom Keiser followed up with a longer statement, saying “Over the last 24 hours there has been a broad emotional and passionate reaction from our people and this has spurred additional dialog. We have heard the lived experiences from our people and the hurt they are feeling,” Keiser said. “The decision has created a divided company, and this is not the kind of company I came to lead. I—and the rest of the management team—share the concerns our people have expressed. As a result, we have decided to not proceed with the deal with ICE.”

Good for Anderson for risking her livelihood to call out her company’s gross behavior. And good for Hootsuite, I guess, for listening and actually changing. The company made the deal via a third-party company, FCN, which then provided ICE with licenses to Hootsuite software. This begs the question, how active is ICE on social media? Are they posting so frequently that they need to schedule their tweets? Does ICE have a social media manager, and if so, why? ICE currently has over 450K followers, so someone must be interested.

Anderson responded with the following:

(via TechCrunch, featured image: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.