Marsha Blackburn appeared on “The Story With Martha McCollum” on Fox News, where she confirmed that Twitter had agreed to let her campaign ad run in its entirety. “I think what has happened, the American people rose up. They are sick and tired of the liberal elites and the liberal media telling them what they’re going to listen to, and what is going to be pushed forward and broadcast and what is not, and in this example it was Twitter,” Blackburn explained. “And now they have reversed their decision after the American people have joined me in standing up to them, and they are going to allow the video to stand and us to push it forward.”
Twitter’s decision was met with immediate backlash, even among pro-abortion advocates, for its blatant bias and censorship.
Now Live Action is urging Twitter to reverse its decision to ban the pro-life group from advertising. In a press statement, the group’s president, Lila Rose, states that there is no rational basis for Twitter to ban Live Action’s ads. Live Action is urging Twitter to allow pro-life organizations the same freedom to advertise that Planned Parenthood and abortion groups enjoy.
Twitter realized it was inappropriate to censor Rep. Blackburn’s ads, and eventually did the right thing. Now, it’s time for Twitter to lift its unprecedented ban on Live Action’s life-affirming advertising. Some of the Live Action content that Twitter objected to was identical to the content in Ms. Blackburn’s now-permitted advertising, so there’s no longer a rational basis for it to ban Live Action’s ads.
Original story continues below.
Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, from Tennessee, has announced that she will be running for the United States Senate seat being vacated by Bob Corker in the 2018 Senate election. Blackburn launched a campaign Twitter account, where she posted a campaign video; however, that video was soon yanked off of Twitter for reportedly referencing the Planned Parenthood baby body parts scandal.
In the video, Blackburn says, “I am 100% pro-life. I fought Planned Parenthood, and we stopped the sale of baby body parts, thank God.” Blackburn chaired the House panel that investigated Planned Parenthood’s trafficking of baby body parts, as uncovered by the Center for Medical Progress.
Blackburn’s one line was evidently all Twitter needed; the video was removed because that line was “deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction”. The Blackburn campaign would be allowed to run the rest of the video if that statement was removed, and until then, the campaign cannot pay to promote the video on Twitter.
Blackburn, instead, doubled down, and urged her followers to share the video and join her in “standing up to Silicon Valley”:
— Marsha Blackburn (@VoteMarsha) October 9, 2017
— Marsha Blackburn (@VoteMarsha) October 9, 2017
The blatant suppression infuriated people on Twitter – including abortion supporters – who called the social media service out for its hypocrisy in blocking pro-life statements.
— David Freddoso (@freddoso) October 9, 2017
Twitter doesn’t think that harassment and threats violate its terms of service, but blocks anti-abortion statement https://t.co/NO0dojMVP4
— Rebecca Nelson (@rebeccarnelson) October 9, 2017
I’m pro-choice, but i find this an absolute afront to freedom of speech and expression…! Twitter is going down hill! https://t.co/jQwxvk40bv
— (((Freedom4GB??))) (@Freedom_4_GB) October 9, 2017
— Ray R. (@rrothfeldt) October 9, 2017
Of course, this isn’t the first time Twitter has censored pro-life messages. Live Action President Lila Rose spoke to Fox News host Tucker Carlson about Twitter’s campaign to suppress pro-life content. While Twitter allowed Planned Parenthood to promote tweets, it blocked ad buys and suspended Live Action’s ad accounts for featuring ultrasounds and fact-checks of Planned Parenthood. This tweet from Rose was flagged for violating Twitter’s “hate and sensitive” topic policy:
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) August 22, 2015
“Planned Parenthood, the nation’s biggest abortion chain, is advertising on Twitter, but Live Action, which is the leading pro-life platform for the pro-life movement, is not allowed to,” Rose said in her interview with Carlson.
“And the kind of tweets that they’re flagging, Tucker – that they’re calling violation of their hate and sensitive policy – show ultrasound images. They’re fact-checks of Planned Parenthood. They’re discussing the prenatal life and its beauty. These are the sorts of tweets that Twitter is trying to block,” Rose said.
Twitter demanded that Live Action scrub its entire website, delete foundational material, or create brand new Twitter handles with approved content in order to advertise again. In addition to this, Twitter insisted that any tweets calling for Planned Parenthood to be defunded, discussing investigations into Planned Parenthood, or showing ultrasound images of preborn babies be deleted. Live Action released e-mails showing Twitter’s blatant bias against pro-life information, while also propping up Planned Parenthood.
Live Action attorney Patricia Glaser sent a demand letter to Twitter, saying that Twitter’s actions are discriminatory and biased.
Most troubling, Live Action attorney Patricia L. Glaser said, was a demand by Twitter that Live Action remove “sensitive” content from the nonprofit group’s own website before it could apply to have its advertising privileges reinstated. Among the content that Twitter objected to was a petition calling for a ban against federal funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading abortion provider.
“Twitter’s decision to condition any resumption in Live Action’s advertising on the restriction of content posted on Live Action’s own website runs afoul of Twitter’s own express policies, in addition to certain precepts of California and federal law,” Ms. Glaser said in a letter to Twitter.
It seems clear that Twitter is continuing to exercise a pro-abortion bias, and Marsha Blackburn is its latest target. However, Blackburn seems determined to fight back — perhaps this time, Twitter’s attempt to censor pro-life information will backfire.