Twitter Blocks Anti-Abortion Rep From Promoting 'Inflammatory' Campaign Ad

Rep. Marsha Blackburn mischaracterized Planned Parenthood's practices.
Twitter blocked a campaign ad for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) for its "inflammatory" content.
Twitter blocked a campaign ad for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) for its "inflammatory" content.

UPDATE 10/11 ― Twitter reversed its decision on Tuesday, telling Recode that Blackburn can now pay to promote the ad.  

“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 representative said. “We have notified Rep. Blackburn’s campaign of this decision.”

PREVIOUSLY ― Twitter blocked a Senate campaign ad for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on Monday for its “inflammatory” comments about Planned Parenthood, according to The Associated Press. 

Blackburn, a self-described “hardcore conservative,” is running to replace Sen. Bob Corker, also a Republican, who will retire from his seat in 2018. She was involved in the GOP-led 2015 House probe into Planned Parenthood’s practices after an anti-abortion group released heavily edited and misleading video footage that purported to show the health care organization’s fetal tissue donation program involved in illegal practices.

The probe, led by Republicans with histories of helping chip away at abortion access, found no proof of wrongdoing ― and was also criticized as a waste of taxpayer money.  

“I’m 100 percent pro-life,” Blackburn says in the campaign ad. “I fought Planned Parenthood, and we stopped the sale of baby body parts. Thank God.”

Twitter deemed the comment “inflammatory” based on her mischaracterization of the facts. A Twitter representative reportedly told Blackburn’s team that the “baby parts” comment was “deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.” 

Blackburn tweeted for her followers to join her in “standing up to Silicon Valley,” by retweeting the ad. 

The ban on the ad only stops Blackburn from being able to pay to promote it, but the video can still be tweeted via a link from YouTube or any other video platform. 

Blackburn made waves earlier this year after she supported President Donald Trump’s plans to phase out the Affordable Care Act ― a stance that resulted in plenty of booing from her constituents at a February town hall. One woman even stood up to tell Blackburn directly just how valuable Planned Parenthood truly is. 

“Planned Parenthood was compassionate, they were nonjudgmental, and they were there for me,” the woman said. 



Facts About Planned Parenthood