Twitter Flips Decision, Lets Blackburn Promote ‘Baby Body Parts’ Video

Tom Williams/CQPHO

Twitter reversed its decision to block Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s (R-TN) campaign video from being promoted on the social media outlet Tuesday, saying there is “room to refine our policies” around this issue, according to Politico.

On Monday Twitter told Blackburn’s Senate campaign that a line in the announcement video, which bashed Planned Parenthood saying Blackburn stopped them from selling “baby body parts,” was inflammatory and against its rules for promoting advertisements. Blackburn was still able to share the video on Twitter, it just wasn’t allowed to be promoted.

Blackburn used Twitter’s decision as a platform to rally her base and to criticize the “Silicon Valley elites” for trying to “impose their values.”

A Twitter spokesperson told Politico Tuesday that it had reversed its decision.

Twitter’s full statement:

“Our ads policies strive to balance protecting our users from potentially distressing content while allowing our advertisers to communicate their messages. Nowhere is this more difficult than in the realm of political advertising and the highly charged issues that are often addressed therein. 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.

“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.”

The cryptic line in her campaign announcement is likely referring to Blackburn’s work leading a House investigation into Planned Parenthood after a video surfaced in 2015 that appeared to show the group profiting from the sale of fetal tissue, which has been illegal since 1993.

Abortion providers can be paid for shipping and handling the material, New York magazine reported. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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