Twitter Reverses Decision, Allows Blackburn’s Pro-life Senate Ad and Will Revisit Policies

Posted: Oct 11, 2017 10:10 AM

Twitter announced Tuesday evening that they will allow Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s (R-TN) Senate campaign ad, despite initially refusing to let her promote it on their platforms Monday because they found her allegations of Planned Parenthood’s sale of “baby body parts,” to be “inflammatory.”

"Our ads policies strive to balance protecting our users from potentially distressing content while allowing our advertisers to communicate their messages,” Twitter spokesman Nicholas Pacilio in a statement. “Nowhere is this more difficult than in the realm of political advertising and the highly charged issues that are often addressed therein."

"After further review, we have made the decision to allow the content in question from Rep. Blackburn's campaign ad to be promoted on our ads platform,” he said. “While we initially determined that a small portion of the video used potentially inflammatory language, after reconsidering the ad in the context of the entire message, we believe that there is room to refine our policies around these issues. We have notified Rep. Blackburn's campaign of this decision."

Blackburn told Fox News that "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."

"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," she said.

Andrea Bozek, a Blackburn spokeswoman said in response to the news Tuesday that “It’s a real shame that this censorship happened in the first place," adding, "While Marsha is disappointed that they attempted to censor her pro-life record, we are pleased they have reconsidered their decision. This is just the latest example of Marsha’s leadership. She will never back down from standing up for our conservative values.”

Blackburn’s mention of Planned Parenthood’s alleged sale of baby body parts was a reference to her time as chair of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. The panel was created following the release of undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) in summer of 2015 that appeared to show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the harvesting of unborn baby parts for profit. When the videos were initially released in 2015, even Hillary Clinton called the footage “disturbing.”

Blackburn said Twitter had a “double standard” Monday, pointing out that they were fine with controversial anthem protests and running advertisements by the abortion advocacy group NARAL.

The pro-life organizations Live Action and the Susan B. Anthony List have both run into similar problems with Twitter’s ad policies.

Live Action was told in June that, in order to be allowed to advertise, they had to “delete all tweets related to: the group’s undercover investigations; the Center for Medical Progress undercover investigations; images and videos of abortion procedures, including but not limited to late-term abortions; content related to defunding Planned Parenthood, including petitions; ultrasound images; and any links to sections of the Live Action website containing videos with any of the above content.”

SBA List President Majorie Dannenfelser also said in June that Twitter blocked her group’s attempt to promote a tweet with a quote by Mother Teresa which read, "Abortion is profoundly anti-woman. Three quarters of its victims are women and children: Half the babies and all the mothers."

 SBA List was told that the tweet “violated Twitter’s policy prohibiting ‘the promotion of health and pharmaceutical products and services.'”