Pro-Life Group Fights Twitter Censorship

News:
by David Nussman  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  September 25, 2017   

Twitter orders Live Action to "remove current and past sensitive content from your website"

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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - The pro-life organization Live Action is calling out Twitter for censoring the group's advertisements owing to "sensitive content" not contained in the ads themselves but on Live Action's website.

On September 11, Live Action sent a complaint letter to the social media giant regarding the censored ads. The complaint letter went public with an article on Friday in The Washington Post, as well as a report on Live Action's website.

Live Action had previously received a private message from Twitter about the censored ads:

Two options to consider that will allow you to become eligible for advertising moving forward: (1) Remove current and past sensitive content from your website and Twitter feed. (2) Create a new Twitter handle for marketing/advertising efforts that drives to a new website that does not include content that violates our policy.

This explanation prompted Live Action's complaint letter to Twitter.

"Twitter denies blocking Live Action because of its pro-life message, claiming it has other pro-life relationships," Live Action noted, "though as Susan B. Anthony List pointed out, that defense falls rather flat when Twitter's other ad-blocking is considered."

Lila Rose, president and founder of Live Action, told The Washington Post, "This wasn't about one issue with one aspect with one ad. This was about the entirety of our message, from ultrasound images of life in the womb to criticism of abortion facilities."

Ads on Twitter enable organizations like Live Action to get their message out to Twitter users at large, as opposed to just engaging with Twitter followers.

Some pro-lifers have noticed an ongoing trend of pro-life voices becoming marginalized and silenced. Another pro-life organization, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), has seen many of its undercover videos removed from YouTube and has been fighting a legal battle for over a year now, owing to a series of videos exposing Planned Parenthood's illegal sale of aborted babies' body parts.

CMP's videos went viral in the summer of 2015. The videos caused quite a stir in American politics and launched a widespread movement to defund Planned Parenthood.

In a June 26 interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson, Rose warned that pro-lifers are being censored by the government and by social media giants.

"You are going to have to tangle with courts, you're going to have to tangle with attorneys general — like in California, what David's [Delaiden of the CMP] tangling with," Rose said. "You're going to have to tangle with social media executives who don't want your stuff on — on channels, on YouTube, on Twitter."

The Washington Post piece on Live Action's debacle with Twitter was also printed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch with a headline that reads, "Twitter won't run an anti-abortion group's paid advertising unless it scrubs its website of 'sensitive content.'" This seems to confirm Live Action's claim that such was the "original headline."

The Washington Post headline currently appears as "Yes, Twitter can reject this anti-abortion group's ads for displaying 'sensitive content.'" Interestingly enough, the current URL for the article indicates the "original headline," not the current one.

Live Action has been reporting on Twitter's censorship for several months. On June 27, a report on the pro-life organization's website noted, "While it won't censor Live Action's and Lila Rose's tweets outright, Twitter has banned our ability to advertise our content until we delete all the tweets it deems offensive or in reality all the tweets that offend Planned Parenthood."

The report then announced that Twitter was ordering Live Action to delete "all of our tweets, calling for the end of taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, all of our tweets of our undercover investigations into Planned Parenthood and any ultrasound images of preborn children."

 

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