A right-wing tweet is taking some heat: Twitter—which promotes itself as an open forum for expression—wants to ensure that some ideas remain unexpressed. The online news and social networking service has banned Republican Representative Marsha Blackburn’s political advertisement referencing an indictment of Planned Parenthood.
Blackburn, who is running for U.S. Senate, published a campaign video Thursday to appeal to her constituency. In the ad, Blackburn mentions her previous work in opposition to abortion: “I’m 100% pro-life. I fought Planned Parenthood, and we stopped the sale of baby body parts. Thank God.”
The Tennessee conservative served as chairman of the 2015 House Select Panel on Infant Lives, which was formed to investigate Planned Parenthood in light of incendiary Center for Medical Progress videos exposing the sale of tissue from aborted fetuses. The panel did, incidentally, uncover “illegal and highly repulsive activities.”
According to the AP, a Twitter representative “told [Blackburn’s] vendors on Monday that the (abortion) statement was ‘deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.’”
There’s nothing more typically leftist today than the shutdown of speech the left disapproves of, with the excuse that it will "evoke a strong negative reaction.”
Although Blackburn may still tweet the campaign video, Twitter has agreed to let her run it as an ad only if the line regarding abortion is cut. She has defiantly implored her followers to retweet the ad, uncut.
This isn’t the first time Twitter has silenced speech in opposition to a pro-choice worldview. In June, the social networking site banned advertisements from pro-life group Live Action that it considered “offensive.” Meanwhile, Twitter promotes Planned Parenthood ads.
Twitter is a private company, and it can support whatever content it prefers. But at a time when conservative voices are being silenced in so many sectors, the decision made by Twitter—a contemporary hub of American expression—further suggests a grim prognosis for a society controlled by left-wing forces which seem to champion diversity of every kind except the most valuable of all: diversity of thought.