As Lauretta wrote earlier, the powers-that-be at Twitter that took down a video ad posted by Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, announcing her candidacy for US Senate. Why? It mentioned her work on a committee that investigated Planned Parenthood's grotesque fetal organ harvesting practices, as exposed in a series of undercover videos. Twitter claims Blackburns clip violates its policy against ad content "deemed [to be] an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction." But Twitter was happy to take NARAL's money to run ads against a proposed (popular) ban on elective abortions beyond the fifth month of pregnancy (illegal in all but seven nations), which the extreme special interest group referred to as "routine care." Portions of the Associated Press' write-up of the controversy could easily have been written by the abortion giant's press shop:
Blackburn was the chair of a Republican-run House panel created to investigate Planned Parenthood and the world of fetal tissue research that earlier this year urged Congress to halt federal payments to the women’s health organization. Democrats said the GOP probe had unearthed no wrongdoing and wasted taxpayers’ money in an abusive investigation. The panel was created after anti-abortion activists released secretly recorded videos in 2015 showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing how they sometimes provide fetal tissue to researchers, which is legal if no profit is made. Fetal tissue research has strong backing among scientists for its value in studying Down syndrome, eye disease and other problems.
The videos themselves "unearthed wrongdoing," including Planned Parenthood executives talking about altering abortion procedures, clamping down on certain body parts for the purpose of keeping valuable and lucrative organs fully intact. This is against the law. Whistleblowers also reveal that Planned Parenthood sold body parts of aborted babies without their mothers' knowledge or consent. Also illegal. And about that "no profit" thing?
"Better than break even" is otherwise known as "profit." Another official discussed harvested fetal organs as a valuable "revenue stream" for Planned Parenthood clinics. Abortion, Inc. and its Praetorian Guard in the Democratic Party in the mainstream press like to pretend that the "heavily edited" undercover journalism videos are discredited and prove nothing. They are, in fact, quite damning. Either way, it very much looks like Twitter is placing its thumb on the scale against pro-life advertising, rejecting material on vague grounds that could be -- but is not -- applied to pro-choice and pro-abortion content. This isn't the first time the double standard has reared its head, as the pro-life organization Live Action was also censored by Twitter in recent months. The social media company is playing with fire, especially in its decision to muzzle an ad produced by a member of Congress' campaign. John Podhoretz succinctly highlights the risk here:
If Twitter is going to censor elected officials, it's only a matter of time before elected officials are going to censor Twitter. https://t.co/h6UNSjNquV— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) October 9, 2017
Silicon Valley is aware that politicians are eager to get their hands on their products to impose new regulations on entities they regard as akin to "public utilities," yes? Republicans are much more likely to be skeptical of an expanded regulatory regime, but punishing conservatives and disproportionately stifling conservative views is a great way to make DC meddling a bipartisan exercise. The Federalist is also warning Twitter about going down this path:
Twitter Should Stay Out Of Abortion Politics For Its Own Good https://t.co/HMXCtfGqao— Mollie (@MZHemingway) October 10, 2017
Setting aside the veracity of the claim or the debate itself, if this is the standard Twitter now uses to inject itself into campaigns, it will find itself banning almost every group from promoting political and ideological content, including every Planned Parenthood and NARAL promotion. In fact, you might as well shut down the entire platform. Unless, that is, Twitter has a political motive or ideological disposition that makes it find only certain positions inflammatory. Most people who have been bombarded with Twitter accounts featuring swastikas and hammer-and-sickles over the past year-and-a-half are likely to find it extraordinary that an ad offering a traditional critique of the abortion industry should be especially incendiary to a sales team.
Twitter is, after all, the platform on which liberals regularly accuse Republicans of the premeditated murder of children through the nefarious block-granting of Medicaid funds. Abortion is just one of the many debates that provoke strong negative reactions...Over the long term, this kind of meddling in political discourse only erodes the trust consumers have in the platform...Worse, people will again start demanding that Washington institute “fairness” regulations or treat giant tech companies as utilities. This is dangerous for free speech. But if Twitter and Facebook act as if they are unable to properly deal with accounts that engage in harassment and (genuine) extremism, yet have the time to ideologically curate promotions, these companies are essentially admitting they care about one but not the other.
Read the whole thing. This precedent is dangerous, and the uneven application of rules is glaring. If Twitter wants to be an abortion rights platform, that's fine. They should tell us as much, and let tens of millions of us decide whether to take our business elsewhere. I'll leave you with this -- the radical abortion lobby is delighted by speech suppression: