Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg criticizes Twitter over political ad censorship


Twitter reversed the decision against Blackburn's ad hours later, and the congresswoman told Fox News she "doubled down" on her pro-life stance and fought Twitter's decision.

Twitter has ended a standoff with Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn one day after taking down advertisements containing her Senate campaign announcement video, in which she bragged about fighting "the sale of baby body parts".

Pro-life activists criticized Twitter's move to refuse promotion of the ad.

"The million-dollar question" is whether Twitter's initial removal of the video was "an honest mistake", said Daniel Ausbun, a Kentucky pastor whose YouTube account was temporarily deleted in 2014, apparently over a sermon he preached at a previous church about Christian persecution in the Middle East.

"I think the responsibility of an open platform is to let people express themselves", she concluded.

Blackburn announced her plans to run for U.S. Senate last week to fill the seat of retiring Tennessee Sen. (They did not, however, completely remove the ad from their platform.) The representative and many of her Republican allies complained vehemently, prompting Twitter to suggest Blackburn remove the "baby body parts" line from the video to remove the block.

Blackburn chaired a House panel that delved into allegations raised by an anti-abortion rights group's secretly recorded videos of conversations of Planned Parenthood officials.

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The reference to "baby body parts" alludes to the bombshell undercover investigation by David Daleiden, who posed as a fetal procurement company to capture Planned Parenthood officials violating federal law by negotiating the costs of fetal tissue that is used for medical research.

Blackburn encouraged her supporters to join her in "standing up to Silicon Valley" by sharing the video.

It's easy to see why Twitter might have gotten antsy about the ad.

After significant backlash, Twitter chose to reverse its decision about Blackburn's ad Wednesday.

Nicholas Pacilio, a Twitter spokesman, said in a statement, "Our ads policies strive to balance protecting our users from potentially distressing content while allowing advertisers to communicate their messages". "Nowhere is this more hard than in the realm of political advertising and the highly charged issues that are often addressed therein".

"The content's really important", she added, "but so are the ads because when Twitter took down the ad, they said well she can run the free content but she can't run the ad but we all know her ability to get that message out does depend on having access to ads which is why we allow, why we allow issue-based ads even when they're hard". In May 2016, a former employee claimed that the social media site suppresses conservative news sources and promotes liberal ones in its "trending" section.