Politics & Policy

The Corner

Twitter Blocks Marsha Blackburn’s Pro-Life Campaign Ad

Twitter has blocked a campaign ad by Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn — a current representative from Tennessee — asserting that it contained an “inflammatory statement” about abortion that could no longer be promoted on the site.

In the ad, Blackburn states that, during her time in Congress, she “fought Planned Parenthood, and we stopped the sale of baby body parts,” referencing her role as chair of the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. Watch the full ad here:

Under Blackburn’s leadership, the committee investigated the illegal fetal-tissue-trafficking industry, prompted by a series of undercover videos suggesting that Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics had cooperated with biotech firms to profit from the organs of aborted  babies.

According to the AP, a Twitter representative told Blackburn’s vendors that the candidate’s remark had been “deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.” The video can still be linked on YouTube and other video platforms, but Blackburn’s campaign can no longer pay for the ad to be promoted on Twitter. The company said the campaign will be permitted to run the ad once more if the flagged statement is removed.

Twitter is likely correct that the statement will be found “inflammatory,” despite the fact that Blackburn was indeed correct about the abortion industry — her committee discovered evidence of pervasive illegal activity on the part of many abortion clinics and biotech firms. But it is perhaps even more galling that Twitter’s desire to police inflammatory content is entirely one-sided.

In late June, Twitter pulled a similar stunt with pro-life advocacy group Live Action, telling the group that, in order to advertise on the site, it must delete any and all tweets that Twitter’s management team had deemed “offensive” and “inflammatory.”

Included in this vast category were all tweets calling for the removal of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding, all tweets reporting on investigations into Planned Parenthood clinics, and any ultrasound images of children. Live Action was also prohibited from linking to any page on its own website that contained any of the above content.

To be sure, Twitter is a private company and can enact its preferred policies for promoted content, but it is abundantly clear that those policies are wielded unfairly to punish conservative users. Pro-abortion candidates and groups are consistently given free rein, while Blackburn and Live Action are subjected to the media’s radical and pervasive bias against the pro-life movement.

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