Just as free-speech advocates were reacting against Twitter’s overly zealous censorship of content, the company announced the implementation of new rules for even tighter controls.
Last week Twitter disabled features of actor Rose McGowan’s account just when she was sharing key information regarding the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal. Soon afterward, groups of women boycotted the site for a day in protest.
Conservatives have long complained that Twitter’s seemingly partisan understanding of “hate speech” has unfairly hamstrung legitimate sources of information outside of the mainstream, simply because they clash with the reigning liberal zeitgeist.
Twitter “increasingly plays host to bullies, harassers, Nazis, propaganda-spreading bots, ISIS recruiters, and threats of nuclear war,” Wired magazine announced in its news story. While such lists often include groups associated with the right, they almost never refer to violent leftwing organizations such as antifa, or to groups historically responsible for mass murders such as Marxist communists.
As part of its new rules, the company said it would begin hiding so-called “hate symbols” behind a “sensitive image” warning, though it has not yet defined what qualifies as a hate symbol.
In the past, pro-life groups say they have been unjustly targeted because of their opposition to abortion, while pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood are allowed to publish anything they please.
As Breitbart News reported earlier this month, Twitter blocked a campaign ad for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in which she announced her pro-life beliefs and her opposition to selling baby parts, which the social media giant claimed is “inflammatory.”
In an ensuing email exchange, Twitter representatives said they would consider running Blackburn’s video if she removed references to having “stopped the sale of baby body parts,” which they said “is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.”
— Marsha Blackburn (@VoteMarsha) October 10, 2017
Rep. Blackburn announced that she will run for the open U.S. Senate seat after Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said he will retire at the end of his term in 2018.
A pro-life advocacy group called “Live Action” also complained that its ads were unjustly suppressed by Twitter while abortion giant Planned Parenthood was permitted to post similar content with the opposing message.
“While Planned Parenthood is allowed to advertise on Twitter, the social media company has suppressed Live Action’s ads, calling our pro-life messages offensive and inflammatory,” wrote Live Action’s Lila Rose. “What exactly is Twitter calling so offensive and inflammatory? Tweeting a picture of a child developing in the womb and saying that we believe in the right to life. Or tweeting ultrasound images, like the ones that most expectant moms hang on their refrigerator doors.”
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