Why did Twitter reject this pro-life ad?

13 October, 2017, 03:30 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
  • Twitter not only changes its mind about 'inflammatory' ad, it's going to change its policies too

SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said they were "encouraged that Twitter reconsidered its censorship of Rep. Blackburn's pro-life ad". "But the question is: should divisive political or issue ads run?"

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg says Twitter was wrong to block a campaign advertisement for Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee.

U.S. Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn said she is "100 percent pro-life" in a campaign video that was temporarily removed from Twitter's paid advertising platform. In the ad, Blackburn heralded her work to stop "the sale of baby body parts", a reference to her investigation into Planned Parenthood's reported practice of "donating" body parts, obtained through abortion, in return for monetary compensation.

The social media giant said "baby body parts" is "deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction" - and for that the ad was yanked. "Social media and Twitter are important platforms, but the liberal left can not continue to think they have the right to censor free speech - especially with campaign messages with which they disagree".

In January, the committee made several criminal and regulatory referrals to state and federal officials regarding Planned Parenthood and other groups that were said to be involved in the baby parts trade.

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On Oct. 9, Twitter suspended advertisements purchased by Blackburn's Senate campaign that included the video. "Twitter has significant power as a media channel to influence public opinion, and just as with Representative Blackburn, they have no business silencing the pro-life voice". Following additional reviews of Blackburn's video when she complained publicly about the initial block, Twitter chose to allow the "campaign ad to be promoted on our ads platform" despite initially determining "a small portion of the video used potentially inflammatory language".

"The content's really important", she added, "but so are the ads because when Twitter took down the ad, they said well she can run the free content but she can't run the ad but we all know her ability to get that message out does depend on having access to ads which is why we allow, why we allow issue-based ads even when they're hard".

In a campaign email, Blackburn seized on what she perceived as politically motivated censorship, telling her supporters that "Silicon Valley is in the pocket of the liberal establishment, but our conservative revolution is going to keep on winning".

"Twitter probably has the most vague policies of all social media platforms in the sense that what people can and cannot post" is relatively undefined, Girardier, creative director at Brentwood (Tenn.) Baptist Church, told BP. In fact, the Blackburn ad is running as a sponsored post on Facebook.

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