The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has excoriated the social media platform Twitter for censoring pro-life posts and other social conservative viewpoints. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says that Twitter is employing a “double standard” in blocking conservative content while leaving liberal messaging untouched.
Pai pointed to a recent incident in which Twitter took down a pro-life advertisement from Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn. Blackburn had posted an advertisement for the launch of her campaign for the U.S. Senate. Representative Blackburn’s ad touted her leadership in exposing Planned Parenthood’s marketing and sale of the body parts of aborted preborn children.
Congresswoman Blackburn had chaired a special legislative committee which investigated the actions of Planned Parenthood employees and contractors in the trafficking of fetal organs and fetal tissue. The advertisement on Twitter showed Blackburn saying that she “fought Planned Parenthood and we stopped the sale of baby body parts, thank God.”
Twitter yanked the ad, saying that it included an “inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction,” and that it had “higher standards for their content.” Twitter officials said they would restore the ad if Blackburn pulled the reference to Planned Parenthood. After a huge outcry from the social media community, Twitter reinstated the ad, saying that it had reevaluated the ad “in the context of the entire message.”
Chairman Pai says that providers like Twitter are making political value judgements about what content users see. “The company appears to have a double standard when it comes to suspending or de-verifying conservative users’ accounts as opposed to those of liberal users. Providers like Twitter routinely block or discriminate against conduct they don’t like.”
“Now look,” Pai added. “I love Twitter, and I use it all the time. But let’s not kid ourselves. When it comes to an open Internet, Twitter is part of the problem. The company has a viewpoint, and it uses that viewpoint to discriminate.”
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Congresswoman Blackburn blasted Twitter for their political bias. “I am appalled by Twitter’s attempt to censor my pro-life record, and I believe the entire pro-life community deserves an apology. I refuse to allow an organization whose mission is to provide information instantly, without barriers to silence our efforts to protect the unborn.”
“I think what happened is the American people rose up,” Blackburn continued. “They are sick and tired of the liberal elites and the liberal media telling them what they are going to listen to, and what is going to be broadcast and what is not, and in this case it was Twitter.”
LifeNews reports that Twitter has also blocked efforts by the pro-life group LiveAction to place advertisements, and has objected to its tweets containing ultrasound images of unborn children and its calls for Congress to investigate and defund Planned Parenthood.
Twitter also blocked an advertisement from the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List because it used the phrase “killing babies.” The company also rejected an ad earlier this year for a new book because the publication stated that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
Twitter is not the only social media platform seemingly intent on censoring pro-life messages. YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo have also blocked videos revealing the actions of Planned Parenthood to barter in the business of baby body parts.
Planned Parenthood became the focus of widespread scrutiny for its fetal tissue trafficking practices following an extensive undercover investigation by a group called the Center for Medical Progress. The group released a series of videos showing Planned Parenthood employees and agents discussing the sale and shipping of vital organs from aborted babies, and how to conduct abortions in a manner that would preserve those organs intact for maximum profit.
LifeNews.com Note: Joe Ortwerth writes for the Missouri Family Policy Council.