Video sharing app TikTok bans, reinstates Live Action, claims ‘human error’

TikTok, Live Action

UPDATE, 1/31, 3:36p EST: Live Action president Lila Rose issued a statement after TikTok notified Live Action of the reinstatement of its @liveactionorg account on the platform. Rose stated:

TikTok has rightfully reinstated Live Action’s account. We received an email from TikTok at 11:29 AM PT/2:29 pm ET apologizing for what TikTok is calling ‘human error’. They admitted that our account “is not in violation of any of our Community Guidelines.” Tiktok must improve their training and oversight to ensure that such dramatic ‘human errors’ like this aren’t made in the future for us or any other pro-life organization.

We contacted TikTok yesterday asking for an answer and resolution and only after we escalated the problem, did they finally reinstate the account. Not every pro-life American has the reach that Live Action has to sound the alarm on censorship and viewpoint discrimination. What we saw today is the power of social media, the pro-life movement, and news outlets in doing their job to call out pro-life viewpoint discrimination. Now, go follow us on TikTok.

UPDATE, 1/31, 2:42p EST: After the original publication of this article, Live Action received an email from TikTok claiming that the @liveactionorg account “was incorrectly removed due to human error” and is again active:

We’re writing to let you know that your account was incorrectly removed due to a human error. After re-reviewing your account, we have concluded that your account is not in violation of any of our Community Guidelines. This means that your account is back up and active. We apologize for the error.

As stated in the tweet below from Live Action president Lila Rose, TikTok provided comment to outside news outlets on the purported “human error” before they communicated anything to Live Action about the ban:

1/31: On January 30, 2020, social media platform TikTok banned Live Action for unspecified “Community Guidelines violations.” Live Action joined the platform in 2019 to reach TikTok’s young demographic, 41% of which is between the ages of 16 and 24. This was Live Action’s first notice of violation. 

Below is a timeline of events:

1:26pm EST: Live Action posted a 15 second video, in which a woman is briefly shown looking at the screen with captions that read: “Be pro-abortion” and “Be pro-life and help save babies.” The video follows a popular TikTok trend where a person is shown choosing between two jellybeans to eat.

The remainder of the video consisted of positive social media posts from Live Action followers, sharing their personal stories of choosing life. No content within the video displayed any graphic images, violent content, political advocacy, or any other materials that could be reasonably deemed as offensive.

2:30pm EST: TikTok notified Live Action that the video violated Community Guidelines, and removed the video. Live Action immediately appealed. See that video below:


3:00pm EST: Live Action received notice from TikTok that the @liveactionorg account “was banned due to multiple Community Guidelines violations.” No further explanation was given for this decision. 

Live Action had grown to over 21,000 active followers on TikTok since joining in August of 2019:

Screenshot showing 21k followers on TikTok

While TikTok’s Community Guidelines prohibit “violent and graphic content,” the platform often permits videos that simulate brutal harm to preborn infants, which can be seen in the video below (warning: may be sensitive for viewers):


This is not the first time a social media platform has banned or suppressed Live Action’s content. In 2017, Twitter banned Live Action from advertising on the platform, claiming Live Action’s material is “sensitive.” That ban is still in effect. In 2018, YouTube began suppressing Live Action videos. When a pro-abortion writer complained about finding pro-life videos on the video sharing site, YouTube altered its search results so that Live Action’s “Abortion Procedures” videos no longer appeared within the top 150 results. In June of 2019, Live Action was banned by Pinterest after a whistleblower exposed the platform’s internal decision to place Live Action on its blocked “pornography” list. Social media giant Facebook‘s third party “fact checkers” also deemed Live Action content “false” in 2019 for agreeing with thousands of medical professionals that abortion — the intentional killing of a human being in the womb — is never medically necessary.     

Live Action’s social media presence is the largest of any pro-life organization, with over 4 million followers. Big Tech’s social media censorship undermines Live Action’s ability to deliver its content, which aims to inform the public about abortion and expose the fraudulent and corrupt practices of the abortion industry. Many have also argued that Big Tech’s censorship practices pose a grave threat to freedom of speech for all social media users.  

Live Action president Lila Rose stated in response to TikTok’s ban:

… Live Action’s videos shared baby photos and videos and highlighted the illogic of the pro-abortion movement. At the same time, TikTok allows pro-abortion accounts and videos to remain on the platform, videos like this that simulate brutal harm to preborn or born infants. Live Action appealed TikTok’s decision to remove one of our videos and within a half hour our account was completely removed on the platform. No more account, no more videos. This is blatant viewpoint discrimination and an egregious attempt to silence pro-life voices. TikTok should reinstate our account in full and allow all voices on the platform. 

At the time of this article’s publication, TikTok has not yet responded to Live Action’s request to be reinstated to the platform, and has not indicated which Community Guidelines Live Action violated.

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