FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 12, 2017
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says Pro-life Ad Temporarily Banned by Twitter Would Have Run on Facebook
LOS ANGELES and WASHINGTON D.C., October 12, 2017 – The leaders of two national pro-life groups today urged Twitter Inc. to re-evaluate its policies about political and advocacy advertising and to stop blocking life-affirming messaging from groups opposed to abortion.
Twitter has arbitrarily blocked advertising from Live Action and Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) in recent years, just as the company did recently with a political advertisement submitted by Rep. Marsha Blackburn in which she discussed her efforts “to stop the sale of body parts” by Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business. Twitter reversed its decision after receiving widespread criticism.
Despite its reversal on Rep. Blackburn’s ad, Twitter continues to block all advertising from Live Action, as well as some advertising by SBA List.
In an interview with Axios this morning, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said her company would have run Rep. Blackburn’s ad and that “When you cut off speech for one person, you cut off speech for all people.”
Live Action President Lila Rose said: “Twitter was wrong to censor Rep. Blackburn’s ads, and only did the right thing when they were subjected to media scrutiny. Twitter must now lift the ban on similar advertising from Live Action and SBA List. Twitter has significant power as a media channel to influence public opinion, and just as with Representative Blackburn, they have no business silencing the pro-life voice.”
SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said: “We are encouraged that Twitter reconsidered its censorship of Rep. Blackburn’s pro-life ad. However, the root issue is far from resolved. It took pressure and a great deal of negative publicity for Twitter to reverse this one decision. Meanwhile pro-life groups like Live Action and SBA List are still subject to an apparent double standard when they simply tell the truth, horrific as it is, about Planned Parenthood’s baby parts trafficking. If Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest abortion business, mired in scandal – is free to promote its agenda on this social media platform, pro-lifers should be equally free to expose the tremendous harm of that agenda to unborn children and their mothers.”
Earlier this year, Twitter refused to accept advertising from Live Action unless Live Action deleted content from its own website – including content calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Lawyers for Live Action have urged Twitter to reverse that ban under both California and Federal law.
SBA List advertisements blocked by Twitter have included a pro-life quote by Mother Teresa and ads calling on constituents to tweet at their U.S. Representatives to urge them to vote for a pro-life healthcare reform bill. In September, Twitter blocked a SBA List video ad advocating for John Adams for Virginia Attorney General, stating that it was unacceptable to use the phrase “killing babies” in an advertisement.
Twitter for many years has accepted advertising from Planned Parenthood, which receives most of its funding from the federal government and commits more than 328,000 abortions a year.
About Live Action
Live Action is a 501c(3) human rights nonprofit dedicated to ending abortion and inspiring a culture that respects and protects life. Live Action’s groundbreaking news coverage and compelling videos reach several million people weekly, with millions of supporters and volunteers throughout the United States. Join the movement at liveaction.org
About Susan B. Anthony List
Susan B. Anthony List and its partner super PAC, Women Speak Out, spent more than $18 million in the 2016 election cycle, knocking on more than 1.1 million doors in battleground states to defeat Hillary Clinton and maintain a pro-life Senate. SBA List is dedicated to pursuing policies and electing candidates who will reduce and ultimately end abortion. To that end, the SBA List emphasizes the education, promotion, mobilization, and election of pro-life women. The SBA List is a network of more than 600,000 pro-life Americans nationwide.