Live Action, the youth-centered pro-life organization known for its undercover investigations of Planned Parenthood, has accused Twitter of censoring its ads.
This spring, Live Action and founder Lila Rose said the social media site blocked their accounts’ ability to advertise. They still can send tweets to their followers, but the advertising block restricts them from reaching a wider audience.
Last week, lawyers for Rose and Live Action sent a letter asking Twitter to reinstate their ability to advertise on its site, the Washington Post reports.
According to Live Action, Twitter rejected several ads that exposed the Planned Parenthood abortion business and called for an end to its taxpayer funding. It also rejected an ad showing the photo of an unborn baby and the words, “I am not a potential human. I am a human with potential.”
Especially egregious about Twitter’s rejections were its requirements to accept future ads from Live Action. The pro-life group said the social media company wants Live Action to remove “sensitive content” from its own website, not just its Twitter page.
Such content includes the numerous undercover stings it has done of Planned Parenthood. Live Action has exposed the abortion chain for hiding sexual abuse, being willing to help sex traffickers, encouraging young teens to try sadomasochism and pornography, and more.
According to the report:
In a May 18 email to Live Action, Twitter’s political and advocacy sales team told the organization that its ads violated Twitter’s sensitive advertising content policy, which prohibits “inflammatory or provocative content which is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction” as well as content that is shocking, disturbing or offensive.
Twitter gave Live Action two choices to become eligible for advertising in the future: remove “sensitive content” from its website and Twitter feed, or create a Twitter handle linking to a new website without the offending content, according to the email exchanges provided by Live Action that The Washington Post has verified.
Among the “sensitive content” Twitter objected to that would have to be wiped from Live Action’s website and Twitter feed: videos of the organization’s undercover investigations, images and videos of abortion procedures, a petition to defund Planned Parenthood, and fetal ultrasounds.
Pete Slevin, one of the attorneys representing Live Action , characterized Twitter’s parameters for reinstating the organization’s ability to advertise as “unusual.”
“It’s not just that Twitter is saying, as a practical matter, that we’re going to ‘regulate’ your Tweets, they’re also seeming to ‘regulate’ what Live Action is posting on its own website,” Slevin said.
According to the Post, Twitter’s advertising policy is much more strict than many other social media sites. The policy prohibits, among other things, “Inflammatory content which is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction or cause harm.”
Twitter, Google, Facebook and other online companies have faced heavy criticism for restricting ads, especially from pro-life and conservative groups. Many believe these media giants show a strong liberal bias.
In May, Facebook also shut down Right to Life of Michigan’s advertising account for “misleading ads.” After repeatedly asking for more details, the pro-life organization was told that Facebook simply was “unable to take further action regarding this matter.” The pro-life group believes the issue involved an ad about a Michigan abortionist whose license was suspended.
In 2016, United Airlines also was criticized for blocking Live Action’s website on its in-flight wifi; however, it allowed access to pro-abortion sites. Later, United Airlines said the block was a mistake and promised to remove it.
ACTION: Contact Twitter to complain @support