Twitter has reversed its decision to block Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s Senate campaign ad that contained a video touting her work as chairwoman of the House Select Panel investigating allegations that Planned Parenthood and biomedical companies profited from the sale of fetal body parts.
According to Politico, a Twitter spokesperson released the following statement:
Our ads policies strive to balance protecting our users from potentially distressing content while allowing our advertisers to communicate their messages. 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.
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.
Twitter said it blocked the ad because it states Blackburn “stopped the sale of baby body parts,” a statement a representative from the tech giant said was “deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a negative reaction.”
Blackburn’s campaign was told the statement would have to be removed if it wished to promote the ad with the video in it.
Though Blackburn’s campaign said they were pleased with the reversal, spokeswoman Andrea Bozek said, “It’s a real shame that this censorship happened in the first place.”
“While Marsha is disappointed that they attempted to censor her pro-life record, we are pleased they have reconsidered their decision,” she added. “This is just the latest example of Marsha’s leadership. She will never back down from standing up for our conservative values.”
Blackburn’s campaign for the Senate seat of retiring U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee has raised money off Twitter’s decision to block promotion of the ad – one that drew the ire of many conservative Republicans and pro-life supporters.
In late December of 2016, under Blackburn’s direction, the House Select Panel made 15 criminal and regulatory referrals of abortion clinics and fetal tissue procurement companies to federal, state, and local authorities for further investigation into possible violations of the law. The referrals were made following the release of undercover videos that exposed the alleged profiteering of Planned Parenthood and its partners in the biomedical procurement industry from the sale of the body parts of aborted babies.
Twitter has a history of objecting to pro-life ads, yet has been accepting of pro-abortion ads.
In June, Breitbart News reported Twitter was allowing abortion chain Planned Parenthood to advertise abortion rights on its platform while it also suppressed pro-life organization Live Action’s ads, referring to its pro-life messages and photos of ultrasounds of babies in the womb as “offensive” and “inflammatory.”