Even at a time when abortion opponents hold a great deal of political power and routinely tap into the wells of sexism and racism to achieve their oppressive goals, you’ll frequently hear them whining and complaining as if they were the underdog. Their latest outburst? They claim social media platforms are censoring them.
At the end of June, Live Action sent out a fundraising email to their following notifying them that Twitter would not allow Live Action to advertise on their social media site. The president, Lila Rose, went onto Tucker Carlson’s FOX News to argue that she and her organization were being censored for their pro-life views.
To be clear, Twitter never suspended or cancelled Live Action’s account. Twitter simply wouldn’t let Live Action publish ads on Twitter without removing content from their Twitter page and primary website identified by Twitter as inflammatory and violating what Lila Rose herself called their “hate and sensitive” policy. Live Action and Lila Rose have steadily pushed out by Twitter every few weeks in an attempt to fundraise.
Their argument didn’t seem to be gaining any traction, until early in October when Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) tried to run an advertisement for her campaign for the 2018 Senate. In the ad, she falsely claimed that Planned Parenthood sold “baby body parts,” echoing the language of David Daleiden’s fraudulently obtained, deceptively edited sting videos against the organization that stoked anti-abortion terrorism. It’s important to note that in using this language Rep. Blackburn also echoed the mass shooter who killed three people and injured nine others in a Planned Parenthood health center in Colorado Springs the same year those sting videos were released.
Twitter initially flagged the ad for her statement about Planned Parenthood, but rescinded their decision due to backlash from conservatives on social media. Live Action used this reversal to call for allowing their ads to run as well. Both Live Action and Blackburn’s ads were found to be in violation of Twitter’s policy upon first review. Twitter requires that ads be factual and don’t allow “inflammatory or provocative content which is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.”
The pro-life movement has been regularly creating inflated stories of its own victimhood due to what it alleges to be bias on the part of technology companies and social media platforms. Following a Reproaction and SisterSong action calling for accountability for an anti-abortion fake clinic in Atlanta run by Human Coalition, conservative media platforms such as EWTN, The Daily Caller, and others accused Google and Facebook of sponsoring the event themselves. While the action took place during the Netroots Nation conference, which was sponsored by Facebook and Google among 61 total groups, the action itself was not sponsored by anyone but Reproaction and SisterSong. To say otherwise is flat-out false and an attempt at portraying themselves in a David and Goliath light, posturing as if groups like Human Coalition, Live Action, and even a member of Congress are the small and righteous standing against the mighty and evil Goliath.
Then Susan B. Anthony List, a political pro-life organization that frequently lobbies at the White House, joined forces with Live Action. They published a joint press release complaining about unfair treatment from Twitter, a private company. These are the same organizations that think private companies should be able to opt-out of generally applicable laws and deny workers their right to birth control, which is basic healthcare, because of what they believe is a right to use claims of religion as an excuse to discriminate.
Also this fall, Senator Ted Cruz came out against Twitter because of the platform’s refusal to allow advertisements with Live Action and Susan B. Anthony List that violated Twitter’s protocol. Lila Rose and Susan B. Anthony List celebrated their ally on social media. Cruz even liked Susan B. Anthony List’s tweet that they posted about him, which is no surprise since Cruz spends his downtime liking many tweets including those from porn sites.
Tucker Carlson has been another ally to these pro-life organizations, specifically to Lila Rose. She has been featured on his FOX show several times regarding the Twitter ‘ban’ and other social media platforms. Once Tucker even stated while discussing Twitter and other social media platforms removing a video released by Center for Medical Progress “If there was ever a time for civil disobedience, it seems like some might think this would be the time because you have an absolute right to say what you think is true.” Again, Live Action and Lila Rose are not being kicked off or prohibited from sharing their views on Twitter; they are simply not allowed to place paid advertisements with them. If ever there were a time for a talk show host to ask for “civil disobedience,” it seems misplaced here.
These allegations of censorship against social media platforms by pro-life leaders are coming during a time when other conservatives are stating the same. But there is no conspiracy. These organizations are in violation of these private entities policies. The denials for advertisements are not due to ideology but instead due to the lies and propaganda pro-life organizations spew.