Between having to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and struggling to combat rampant online harassment (albeit not from President Trump), Twitter isn’t having a good time. And now that the social media juggernaut has landed itself in the crosshairs of Fox News and the conservative media, its beleaguered status isn’t going to improve anytime soon. That’s because the company reversed its previous decision to block Senate hopeful Marsha Blackburn, a Republican representative from Tennessee hoping to replace Bob Corker, from promoting a campaign video on its advertising platform.
“This is our first Senate conservative victory,” Blackburn boasted during a victory lap appearance on Wednesday’s Fox & Friends when asked about Twitter’s reversal. “Social media and Twitter are important platforms, but the liberal left cannot continue to think they have the right to censor free speech — especially with campaign messages with which they disagree. This is not the first time they have censored a pro-life message… This is just a continuation of the left trying to censor and trying to determine what people are going to see on their platforms.”
Because the ad referenced “baby body parts,” Twitter initially determined the “inflammatory” video violated its guidelines and prevented Blackburn’s campaign from promoting. (They did not, however, completely remove the ad from their platform.) The representative and many of her Republican allies complained vehemently, prompting Twitter to suggest Blackburn remove the “baby body parts” line from the video to remove the block. Come Tuesday, however, the company relented and announced it had reversed its initial decision to block Blackburn’s campaign video.
In a press release on Tuesday, a Twitter spokesperson explained their “ads policies strive to balance protecting our users from potentially distressing content while allowing our advertisers to communicate their messages. Nowhere is this more difficult than in the realm of political advertising.” Following additional reviews of Blackburn’s video when she complained publicly about the initial block, Twitter decided to allow the “campaign ad to be promoted on our ads platform” despite initially determining “a small portion of the video used potentially inflammatory language.”