Yahoo News is facing backlash for an ad campaign promoting its Newsroom app that urges readers to “see all sides” and includes an image of a fence with the words “immigrants endanger us.”
The “immigrants” ad sparked internet outrage Thursday after a tweet criticizing its message went viral. The ad in question shows two walls topped with barbed wire ― one wall emblazoned with the words “immigrants enrich us” and the other with “immigrants endanger us.” The intersection of the fences are shaded purple ― Yahoo’s brand color.
“See all sides,” the ad reads, suggesting that those are the two equally valid positions on the subject of immigration.
A Yahoo News spokesperson defended the ad campaign in a statement to HuffPost on Thursday.
“These ads are meant to reflect the current state of our country, and the polarizing conversations taking place on a number of issues,” according to the statement. “Yahoo News has a long history as a non-partisan news organization, with a mission to present divergent perspectives.”
Both Yahoo News and HuffPost are owned by parent company Oath, a subsidiary of Verizon Inc.
The Yahoo News ad campaign promotes its recently redesigned and rebranded Newsroom app, which includes “The 360” ― a feature providing “multiple stories on the same issue from top sources across the spectrum,” according to the app’s online description.
Other ads feature similarly polarizing messages on health care and climate change, and drew criticism generally over the suggestion that the news outlet would give airtime to xenophobes and climate change deniers.
Vice.com displayed the ad on its homepage Thursday. It wasn’t immediately clear where and for how long the ad campaign has been running.
Twitter users on Thursday blasted Yahoo News over the “dangerous” ad campaign.
“Hey @Yahoo,” one Twitter user wrote. “Hating immigrants and spreading lies that they are dangerous is not on a level playing field with thinking immigrants are humans. One is racist garbage, the other is not.”
Another Twitter user wrote, “I’m pretty sure that the approach espoused by this Yahoo News ad [is] the exact problem with many news organizations today. There aren’t two legitimate sides to every story. There’s the truth.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.