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Twitter blocked pro-life ads: ultrasounds, investigations of Planned Parenthood are too offensive

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ARLINGTON, Virginia, June 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Emails released by Live Action confirm that Twitter has been suppressing the group’s pro-life ad content.

Content related to defunding Planned Parenthood and ultrasound images of pre-born children are deemed by Twitter to be offensive. The social media company also banned tweets on investigations by Live Action and the Center for Medical Progress.

Twitter says the tweets violate its ad policy against “hate, sensitive topics, and violence.”

Live Action announced earlier this week that Twitter had been blocking its ads for some time, and the pro-life group had been trying to work with the social media company for months to resolve the issue.

Planned Parenthood is allowed to tweet that a woman has a right to an abortion, the pro-life group pointed out, and that those who oppose taxpayer-funded abortion are extremists. The abortion provider also says Planned Parenthood is needed.

But it classifies Live Action’s tweets — a baby has a right to life, Planned Parenthood should be defunded, or women don’t need Planned Parenthood — as “inflammatory” and “offensive.”

Live Action felt compelled to go public with the issue after working for some time to get confirmation from Twitter on specifically what content it was calling problematic.

Once that confirmation was made, Twitter insisted upon Live Action removing the identified content, as well as redo its website so that no links on Twitter would lead to what it termed offensive or inflammatory. Otherwise, Live Action cannot post ads.

Live Action shared some of its email communication with Twitter with MRC Culture.

There are “two options to consider that will allow you to become eligible for advertising,” a Twitter representative told Live Action in a May email. The group must either “Remove current and past sensitive content from your website and Twitter feed,” or “create a new Twitter handle for marketing/advertising efforts that drives to a new website that does not include content that violates our policy.”

A Live Action representative asked Twitter in that same email exchange to confirm what content must be removed to allow Live Action to once again post ads on Twitter.

The following was listed:

  • “our undercover investigations”

  • “investigations by the Center for Medical Progress”

  • “images and videos of abortion procedures”

  • “content related to defunding Planned Parenthood”

  • “images and videos of late-term abortions”

  • “ultrasound and images of preborn children”

  • “our petition to defund Planned Parenthood”

  • “links directing to sections of our website that contain videos with the content listed above”

“Regarding the content,” the Twitter rep confirmed, “all that you have listed looks correct.”

One banned tweet from Live Action founder Lila Rose contained a meme with an unborn child that stated, “I am not a potential human being – I am a human with potential.”

Another tweet had a video calling for defunding Planned Parenthood that gave statistics on Planned Parenthood services.

Another email detailed specifics of a phone conversation between Live Action and Twitter, which identified Live Action tweets flagged by Twitter.

“The following is prohibited under our sensitive advertising content policy regarding language and imagery,” a Twitter rep told Live Action:

  • “Threatening, violent, gruesome, abusive, shocking or disturbing content;”

  • “Offensive, vulgar or obscene content;” and

  • “Inflammatory or provocative content which is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.”

Examples of Live Action content that is in violation of Twitter’s sensitive advertising content policy included a video of a baby born inside his mother’s amniotic sac, a StemExpress executive joking about shipping babies’ body parts to research labs, and abortion facility staff describing late-term abortion procedures.

Live Action posted some of its banned tweets on its website Tuesday alongside Planned Parenthood tweets, which are allowed by Twitter. The content of the tweets was similar, but the abortion stances were the opposite of each other.

MRC said it did not hear back from Twitter before press time on an inquiry.

However, one of the emails that Twitter had sent Live Action stated,  

“We can't comment on the tweets of other organizations and whether or not they've been flagged in the past or are currently in review. There are of course a lot of factors that go into an account being flagged – and without the appropriate context it's impossible to compare apples to apples here.”

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