“These are not graphic messages. These are simple messages explaining the value of human life or showing images of ultrasounds.”
In written testimony submitted to the House Energy and Commerce Committee prior to hearings in September, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the purpose of Twitter is “to serve the public conversation, and we do not make value judgments on personal beliefs.” The platform appears to apply that philosophy only to tweets sent within a user’s own network.
According to Rose, Twitter has banned Live Action’s ability to promote tweets beyond its own followers until the group deletes all the tweets (even nonpromoted ones) that Twitter considers offensive. Rose said Twitter also demanded the organization remove similar content from its website, since Live Action’s tweets link back to it.
Facebook’s censorship of pro-life ads has sometimes come haphazardly. Just prior to the November midterm elections, Facebook reinstated a pro-life political advertisement by the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) it had taken down earlier. The social media company stated, “This ad does not violate Facebook’s policies and should never have been disapproved. We’re sorry for this mistake.”
“This is a great development,” the SBA List tweeted in response. “However, this is the FIFTH time Facebook has censored our ads in the last month. Facebook has created a hostile environment for #ProLife speech as we never know when they’re going to decide to shut down our ads.”
Facebook has created a hostile environment for #ProLife speech as we never know when they’re going to decide to shut down our ads.
—Susan B. Anthony List
Live Action has also successfully appealed banned posts and videos on Facebook.
“Facebook is willing to reverse course. But Twitter has not done that,” said Rose. She noted that by banning pro-life ads, Twitter is, in effect, taking an ideological position while claiming not to make value judgments on personal beliefs.
“Facebook is willing to backtrack and willing to try and do what’s right,” she said. “They’re trying to run a business, and they understand that if they start banning people ideologically it’s going to really harm their platform.”