The pro-life group Live Action was banned from the mobile video sharing platform TikTok only to be reinstated hours later. Now, TikTok is calling the ban a "mistake."
The group's president and founder, Lila Rose, made the announcement on Twitter Friday morning, calling the decision to remove her organization "another egregious attack on the pro-life movement by pro-abortion Big Tech."
According to Rose, Live Action is the largest pro-life voice on the emergent social media platform, boasting 21,000 followers and more than 1 million video views.
The decision came after Live Action posted a 15-second clip showing a young woman copying a viral trend, holding up two candies with a different option displayed in front of each, the Washington Examiner reported.
One candy's option read, "be pro-abortion,' while the other said, "be pro-life and help save babies." She proceeded to eat the pro-life candy as the video then flashes through a series of photos of babies posted on Live Action's social media accounts.
Just an hour after it was posted, TikTok removed the video from its platform for allegedly violating its "community guidelines," according to Live Action.
Live Action immediately appealed the decision, only to have its account removed from the platform. TikTok informed Live Action that its account "was banned due to multiple Community Guidelines violations," but gave no further explanation.
Following the ban, Rose released a statement calling for TikTok to reactivate the group's account:
Live Action's videos shared baby photos and videos and highlighted the illogic of the pro-abortion movement. At the same time, TikTok allows pro-abortion accounts and videos to remain on the platform, videos like this that simulate brutal harm to preborn or born infants. Live Action appealed TikTok's decision to remove one of our videos and within a half hour our account was completely removed on the platform. No more account, no more videos. This is blatant viewpoint discrimination and an egregious attempt to silence pro-life voices. TikTok should reinstate our account in full and allow all voices on the platform.
Before long, several news outlets began reporting on the ban. Then, all of a sudden, early Friday afternoon, Rose's request was honored.
In a statement to National Review, a spokesperson for TikTok claimed the removal was a result of a "human error" and that the ban has been lifted after further review.
"TikTok is a platform for creative expression that welcomes diversity of users and viewpoints," the spokesperson said. "Following a review, we have determined that there were no violations of our Community Guidelines, and the issue was the result of a human error by a moderator. We apologize for the mistake and have reactivated the account."
Live Action, in its report on the ban, noted that this is not the first time the group has been censored on social media.
In 2017, Twitter banned Live Action from advertising on the platform, claiming Live Action's material is "sensitive." That ban is still in effect. In 2018, YouTube began suppressing Live Action videos. When a pro-abortion writer complained about finding pro-life videos on the video sharing site, YouTube altered its search results so that Live Action's "Abortion Procedures" videos no longer appeared within the top 150 results. In June of 2019, Live Action was banned by Pinterest after a whistleblower exposed the platform's internal decision to place Live Action on its blocked "pornography" list. Social media giant Facebook's third party "fact checkers" also deemed Live Action content "false" in 2019 for agreeing with thousands of medical professionals that abortion — the intentional killing of a human being in the womb — is never medically necessary.