In an interview on Facebook Live, Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has spoken out against Twitter’s political censorship after the company censored promotion for an advertisement for Tennessee Republican politician Marsha Blackburn, after deeming it too “inflammatory.”
A look at the video that caused such controversy…
Earlier this week, Blackburn had launched her campaign for Senate run with an online video, in which she discussed her political beliefs. For example, she discussed putting an end to “the sale of baby body parts,” referring to fetal-tissue research. She had also boasted fighting Planned Parenthood by name.
Blackburn’s campaign had paid Twitter for the promotion of the video as an ad, but the social media company decided to censor Blackburn altogether. Campaign spokeswoman Andrea Bozek confirmed in a released statement, according to The Washington Post, that that video had been “deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.”
Sandberg: ‘Because when you cut off speech for one person, you cut off speech for all people’
However, surprisingly enough, a figure connected to another social media company would end up coming to her defense. As mentioned, Sheryl Sandberg made her statement in an interview with Axios Media.
“Marsha Blackburn ran an ad, which is launching her campaign for Senate. And in that ad there’s a lot of positions that people don’t like — that I don’t like,” Sandberg said during the interview, “But the question is: should divisive political or issue ads run? Our answer is yes.”
“Because when you cut off speech for one person, you cut off speech for all people.”
“[W]hen Twitter took down the ad, they said, ‘Well, she can run the free content, but she can’t run the ad.’ But we all know that her ability to get that message out does depend on having access to ads…We don’t check the information people put on Facebook before they run it, and I don’t think anyone should want us to do that.”
Eventually, Twitter had reportedly reversed its decision. As Blackburn’s campaign wrote on social media, “Twitter tried to censor us & you rose up! This is a victory for free speech & the conservative revolution. Let’s carry this to the Senate!”
(H/T: The Washington Post)