Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said Thursday during an interview with Axios that Twitter should not have blocked Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s Senate campaign from promoting her announcement video over a pro-life statement.
What did Twitter do?
Twitter blocked Blackburn (R-Tenn.) from promoting the video due to a statement she made in the spot about “baby body parts,” which they called “inflammatory.”
In the video, 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 panel investigated allegations that Planned Parenthood sold aborted fetal body parts to researchers for profit, which is illegal in the United States. Planned Parenthood denied the allegations.
Twitter reversed course and said they would allow the Blackburn campaign to promote the ad after backlash over the decision.
Blackburn recently announced she will run for the U.S. Senate seat that incumbent Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) will vacate when he retires next year.
.@Twitter shut down our video ad, claiming it's "inflammatory" & "negative." Join me in standing up to Silicon Vall… https://t.co/OfBte2BXSz— Marsha Blackburn (@Marsha Blackburn)1507573788.0
What did Sandberg say?
Sandberg, who is a pro-choice activist and a supporter of Planned Parenthood, disputed the allegations against the nation’s largest abortion provider but said Twitter shouldn’t seek to block Blackburn from promoting a pro-life position.
“In that ad, there’s a lot of positions that people don’t like, that I don’t like,” Sandberg said, adding, “But the question is: Should divisive political or issue ads run?”
“Well, our answer is yes,” Sandberg continued. "Because when you cut off speech for one person, you cut off speech for other people."
Sandberg argued that the ability to get a message out does require access to advertisements.
“I think the responsibility of an open platform is to let people express themselves,” she said.
Sandberg on Twitter removing an ad from Rep. Marsha Blackburn: "When you cut off speech for one person, you cut off speech for all people." pic.twitter.com/llkaIgAT1k
— Axios (@axios) October 12, 2017