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Twitter reverses course, will allow Blackburn campaign to promote pro-life ad

Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn announced her intentions to run for Senate in a campaign video. Twitter had initially blocked her video but now is allowing it. (Image source: Twitter video screenshot)

Twitter will allow Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s Senate campaign to promote an ad after initially blocking them from doing so due to a statement she makes about “baby body parts,” Politico reported.

What happened?

The Tennessee Republican recently announced that she will run for the U.S. Senate seat that incumbent Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) will vacate when he retires next year.

In a video announcing her campaign, Blackburn, who served as the chairman of the House Select Panel on Infant Lives, said she is “100 percent pro-life.”

“I fought Planned Parenthood and we stopped the sale of baby body parts, thank God,” she said.

The House Select Panel on Infant Lives was formed to investigate allegations that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, sold aborted fetal body parts to researchers for profit. Profiting from the sale of human body parts — including those of the unborn — is illegal in the United States. Spokespersons for Planned Parenthood denied illegal conduct.

What did Twitter say?

A spokesperson for Twitter told The Associated Press on Monday that Blackburn’s remark about “baby body parts” was “inflammatory” and they wouldn’t permit the campaign to promote the ad on the platform.

But the social media company has now reversed course. In a statement Tuesday evening, a spokesperson for Twitter said, “Our ads policies strive to balance protecting our users from potentially distressing content while allowing our advertisers to communicate their messages."

The statement continued:

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.

What did the Blackburn campaign say?

Andrea Bozek, a spokeswoman for Blackburn, told Politico, “It’s a real shame that this censorship happened in the first place.”

“While Marsha is disappointed that they attempted to censor her pro-life record, we are pleased they have reconsidered their decision,” Bozek said. “This is just the latest example of Marsha’s leadership. She will never back down from standing up for our conservative values.”

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