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Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Twitter Bars Candidate's Ad Over 'Baby Body Parts' Line

Twitter Bars Candidate's Ad Over 'Baby Body Parts' Line

Twitter has blocked an ad campaign by Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn after it was "deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction".

Blackburn's "baby parts" comment is a reference to videos that allegedly show abortion providers talking about selling fetal tissue from aborted fetuses for scientific research purposes.

Democrats alleged that the GOP investigation had found no wrongdoing and wasted taxpayers' money in an abusive investigation. She's referring to leading a House investigation sparked by the 2015 release of heavily edited videos that accused Planned Parenthood of profiting from the sale of fetal tissue.

Fetal tissue research is used to study Down syndrome and eye disease, among other disorders and diseases. "This is a pro-woman, pro-baby, pro-life message". This is against the law.

In January, the committee sent numerous criminal and regulatory referrals to federal and state officials regarding Planned Parenthood and other groups involved in the baby body parts trade.

While critics across the political spectrum have long accused Twitter of applying its policies in an arbitrary way, the divisive political atmosphere in the US has put even more pressure on social media companies like Twitter and Facebook to justify how they enforce their content policies. As Blackburn explains, she stands with President Trump - on everything from building the wall to demanding that athletes stop protesting during the national anthem - in his battle against the Republican elites blocking his agenda in the Senate. Republicans are much more likely to be skeptical of an expanded regulatory regime, but punishing conservatives and disproportionately stifling conservative views is a great way to make DC meddling a bipartisan exercise.

Twitter has reportedly pulled a campaign ad off its platform that spoke about Planned Parenthood negatively. In fact, you might as well shut down the entire platform.

Especially egregious about Twitter's rejections were its requirements to accept future ads from Live Action. This is risky for free speech. It may even help the arguments on the left and right about regulating tech behemoths like Twitter, Google, and Facebook as public utilities gain traction.

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