Twitter blocked Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who is running to replace Senator Bob Corker, from promoting a tweet that featured her campaign announcement video. In the video, Blackburn speaks of her efforts investigating Planned Parenthood and says, “I fought Planned Parenthood and we stopped the sale of baby body parts. Thank God.”
A Twitter spokesperson “confirm[ed] that promoted Tweets from @VoteMarsha were suspended for violating Twitter’s advertising rules. The account is not suspended, nor are the organic tweets the account has sent containing the same video from the promoted tweets.”
The spokesperson further elaborated that promoted tweets, Twitter’s form of ads, are held to a stricter standard than regular tweets and cited Twitter’s advertising policy, “Advertisers on Twitter have access to a wide range of targeting option to promote their Tweets to a wider audience. Because of this, advertisers on Twitter have the power to reach an audience beyond the users who choose to follow their account.”
Politico obtained an email from Twitter to Targeted Victory, a digital consulting firm, that confirmed the line in question was what had violated the rules. Twitter also told the group that the video would be allowed to run if the line was struck from the ad.
Efforts to reach the Blackburn campaign for comment were unsuccessful.
Blackburn took to Twitter to criticize Twitter and pinned a message of “.@Twitter shut down our video ad, claiming it’s “inflammatory” & “negative.” Join me in standing up to Silicon Valley → RETWEET our message!” Blackburn also used the move to fundraise, urging supporters to donate to show they “won’t be stopped by @Twitter and the liberal elite.”