Google Ads informed the Tennessee Republican Party Tuesday that its digital ads supporting Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s campaign, which included video footage of protestors interrupting her moment of silence for victims of the recent deadly mass shooting of a synagogue, were disapproved because they contained “shocking content.”
Google Ads, an online advertising platform, would not allow the Tennessee GOP to promote two videos for Blackburn’s Senate campaign as search ads because the content doesn’t meet Google’s standards, according to an email sent to the Tennessee GOP.
“Unfortunately, we won’t be able to show your ads on Google, our search partners, or on Display Network placements until you edit your ads or keywords to make them compliant with our policies,” the email, which was obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation, reads.
The ads, one 30 seconds long and the other 15 seconds, show clips from a campaign event on Sunday of protestors interrupting Blackburn’s moment of silence for the victims of the mass shooting at The Tree Of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.
As Blackburn took the stage to speak to a crowd, she was interrupted multiple times by protesters calling her a “white supremacist.”
As protestors yelled, Blackburn’s supporters began chanting “USA” to drown them out.
The handful of protestors didn’t stop when Blackburn began a moment of silence for the 11 individuals who died in the shooting the previous day.
In support of Blackburn, the Tennessee GOP was planning to promote the ads, which it titled “Stop The Mob,” on Google’s various platforms and services, but Google would not approve them due to “shocking content,” the email from Google Ads said.
A Google spokesperson told TheDCNF that one of the protestors’ profane language, which is bleeped out, is the cause for the block because her mouth is readable.
“Our advertising policies prohibit ads that contain shocking content, including profanity or swearing. If an ad violates our policies, we remove it,” the Google spokesperson told TheDCNF. “We encourage advertisers to appeal if they feel their ad is mistakenly removed, and we are happy to work with advertisers to make sure their ads comply with our policies.”
Google has since asked the Tennessee GOP to blur out the protestor’s mouth to further hide the language, which the tech company did not specify in its original denial.
Blackburn’s campaign claims this is not the first time technology companies have tried to block Blackburn’s content.
In October 2017, Twitter blocked Blackburn’s Senate campaign announcement over concerns that the ad’s pro-life message might offend some viewers.
In her campaign announcement, Blackburn, who previously chaired a House panel investigating the sale of fetal tissue by Planned Parenthood, claimed to have “stopped the sale of baby body parts.” (RELATED: Marsha Blackburn’s Campaign Releases Ad Hitting Back On Democrat Opponent’s Comments That Migrant Caravan ‘Is Not A Threat’)
Twitter informed Blackburn’s campaign at the time 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.”
Twitter eventually walked back the ban, saying it would look to refine the company’s policies.
“While we initially determined that a small portion of the video used potentially inflammatory language, after reconsidering the ad in the context of the entire message, we believe that there is room to refine our policies around these issues,” a Twitter spokesperson told TheDCNF at the time.
In light of recent debate over whether companies, specifically Google, Facebook and Twitter, are censoring conservative views, paired with the campaign’s previous difficulties in promoting their content, Blackburn’s campaign is “naturally skeptical” at this time, one Tennessee GOP staffer told TheDCNF.
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