According to Elizabeth Heng’s campaign, Twitter has determined that the Republican congressional candidate’s video advertisement is “ineligible to participate in the Twitter Ads program at this time based on our Inappropriate Content policy.” The company deemed the video’s content to be in violation of the site’s prohibition on “that which is offensive, vulgar, or obscene.”
The ad contains footage of the Cambodian genocide because Heng’s parents fled to the U.S. from Cambodia to escape communism. When the campaign asked for further explanation about how the video violated Twitter’s policies, Twitter responded with the same message, this time highlighting the word “obscene” in bold. The campaign followed up again but received only a message from the Twitter Ads Support team saying they could “no longer assist or support any further requests.”
Less than two weeks ago, the same video was blocked on Facebook after being flagged for containing “shocking, disrespectful or sensational content.” After further review, and some public blowback, Facebook reversed its decision and allowed Heng’s campaign to promote the advertisement. A spokesperson for Facebook told National Review via email: “Upon further review, it is clear the video contains historical imagery relevant to the candidate’s story. We have since approved the ad and it is now running on Facebook.”
Update 5:05 p.m.: A Twitter spokesperson has confirmed to National Review that Heng’s campaign ad was initially rejected. However, that decision has been reversed, and the ad is no longer prohibited. The company declined to explain the reasons for the rejection beyond the initial statement provided to Heng’s campaign, as well as the reasons for the reversal.