Twitter Promises to ‘Refine Our Policies’ After Blocking, Then Allowing, a Campaign Ad

The Blackburn campaign did not remove the statement in question, so Twitter blocked the ad

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) - Credit by Marsha Blackburn for Senate
Headshot of David Cohen

Twitter found itself in another “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation, this time over a campaign video from Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).

Alex Kantrowitz and Ema O’Connor of BuzzFeed News obtained an email sent by Twitter to the Blackburn campaign urging it to remove anti-abortion language.

The email said, as reported by Kantrowitz and O’Connor, “The line in this video specific to ‘stopped the sale of baby body parts’ has been deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction. If this is omitted from the video, it will be permitted to serve.”

The Blackburn campaign did not remove the statement in question, so Twitter blocked the ad, prompting this tweet from Blackburn:


Twitter reversed course Tuesday and issued the following statement: “While we initially determined that a small portion of the video used potentially inflammatory language, after reconsidering the ad in the context of the entire message, we believe that there is room to refine our policies around these issues.”


david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
Publish date: October 11, 2017 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/twitter-marsha-blackburn-baby-body-parts-campaign-ad/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT