Facebook’s chief operating officer said that Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s campaign ad should not have been censored and barred from Twitter, because restricting speech for some people hurts everyone.
“When you cut off speech for one person, you cut off speech for all people,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg — who disagrees with Blackburn and is a long-time abortion advocate — said Thursday.
After Blackburn announced her run for Senate last week, Twitter blocked the campaign announcement ad Monday, citing concerns that the ad’s pro-life message might be offensive.
While Blackburn said she would fight to reduce the national debt, balance the budget, enforce President Donald Trump’s immigration ban, and build a wall, her pro-life claim is what Twitter executives flagged as inappropriate.
“I’m 100 percent pro-life,” Blackburn said in her campaign video, adding that she fought and won against Planned Parenthood so that fetal body parts can’t be sold in her state. Blackburn’s reference to fetal tissue was “deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction,” according to a Twitter representative.
After significant backlash, Twitter decided to reverse its decision about Blackburn’s ad Wednesday.
“After further review, we have made the decision to allow the content in question from Rep. Blackburn’s campaign ad to be promoted on our ads platform,” a Twitter spokesperson said. Twitter also indicated that it may “refine” some of its policies in the future.
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