Live Action founder Lila Rose recently shared on Twitter that her organization has been banned from showing ads on the platform unless they delete the majority of the pro-life content on both their Twitter feed and their website. Rose’s announcement came after a lengthy back and forth with the social media giant in which Live Action repeatedly saw their ads banned by Twitter even though they contained similar content, but a different message from those run by Planned Parenthood.
Twitter told Live Action they can show ads again when they no longer carry content that violates their terms of service. They specified three particular categories of content they want to see deleted: information about abortion procedures, investigations of Planned Parenthood, and all ultrasound images.
Twitter banned @LiveAction & my account from all ads. When we asked why, @Twitter said we could resume ads, only if we deleted the following content from our Twitter AND website:— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) June 4, 2019
-Anything about abortion procedures
-Investigations of Planned Parenthood
-All ultrasound images
Twitter is not prohibiting Live Action from posting to their own feed but has stifled their ability to pay for promoted tweets. Promoted tweets and ads allow a company to get their content in front of users who do not follow them. Through their actions, Twitter has allowed Planned Parenthood to expand its reach and message while restricting Live Action from doing the same.
In the announcement, Rose linked to an opinion piece she wrote for USA Today last fall while she was still wrestling with Twitter over Live Action’s advertising. She pointed out that Twitter founder Jack Dorsey told the House Energy and Commerce Committee in August 2018 that, “the purpose of Twitter is to serve the public conversation, and we do not make value judgments on personal beliefs.” Rose’s opinion article showed Twitter’s bias towards abortion providers and against pro-life organizations.
Rose offered several examples of Twitter’s bias. For example, Planned Parenthood ran an ad that called those who are opposed to government funding for Planned Parenthood “extremists,” but a tweet of Rose’s saying there are alternative options to Planned Parenthood, “Twitter calls that an offensive violation of policy.”
Alexandra DeSanctis summarized the problem with Twitter’s actions towards Live Action in a 2017 opinion piece at the National Review. She said, “Twitter has every right to implement whatever policy it deems appropriate, regardless of whether or not its treatment is objectively fair. But this is the latest example of the pervasive bias that the pro-life movement continually runs up against, and fresh evidence of the massive PR advantage that Planned Parenthood and its supporters enjoy when social-media giants readily line up on the side of abortion rights.”
Rose argues that people often change their minds about abortion when they “learn the facts about what abortion really does to a child and how developed that child really is.” Live Action seeks to educate the culture about “abortion and human development in the womb,” so Rose sees their advertising on social media as an important element in their mission.
Twitter has corresponded with Live Action extensively via email but has turned away their efforts to meet face to face about the issue.
Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”
Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Sara Kurfess