Twitter blocked GOP Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s Senate campaign announcement ad Monday, over concerns that the ad’s pro-life message might offend some viewers.
Blackburn, who previously chaired a House panel investigating the sale of fetal tissue by Planned Parenthood, claims in the ad to have “stopped the sale of baby body parts.” A Twitter representative informed Blackburn’s vendors Monday that the ad was blocked because Blackburn’s reference to fetal tissue was “deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.”
The ruling prohibits Blackburn’s campaign from paying to promote the video on Twitter, but does not prevent users from linking to the video on YouTube or other platforms. The Twitter representative informed the campaign that it could run the ad if the inflammatory reference to fetal tissue was removed.
Blackburn’s official campaign Twitter account responded to the censorship Monday afternoon, asking supporters to join her in “standing up to Silicon Valley.”
— Marsha Blackburn (@VoteMarsha) October 9, 2017
The incendiary claim refers to Blackburn’s tenure as the chair of a Republican-led House panel, created in response to a 2015 hidden camera video depicting Planned Parenthood officials describing how the organization provided fetal tissue to medical researchers.
The panel urged Congress to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood at the conclusion of the probe, while Democrats argued that the investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing, pointing out that the practice is legal, as long as the organization did not profit from the transfer of tissue.
Blackburn, who is running to claim GOP Sen. Bob Corker’s seat, touts her Second Amendment bona fides during the ad, and vows to support President Donald Trump’s immigration agenda.
Blackburn lambastes Senate Republicans in the ad for their failure to enact make meaningful legislative progress, despite their majority in both houses of Congress.
“I stand for hundreds of millions of of honest Americans who work hard and play by the rules. I stand for the greatest country the world has ever known,” Blackburn said in the ad. “I stand when the president walks in the room, and yes, I stand when I hear the Star Spangled Banner.”
Twitter and Facebook representatives recently appeared on Capitol Hill to provide testimony related to their respective roles in disseminating political advertising. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have begun targeting the tech giants as possessing undue political influence, warranting increased government regulation.
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