Twitter Emails Exposed: Penalty for Anti-Planned Parenthood Tweets

June 29th, 2017 5:59 PM

In emails acquired by MRC Culture, Twitter confirmed that it’s blocking ads by one pro-life group because of tweets containing everything from ultrasound images to calls for defunding Planned Parenthood.

On Tuesday, Live Action announced that social media platform Twitter has banned advertisements from the pro-life group “until we delete all the tweets it deems offensive.”

The criteria for those “offensive” tweets, according to Live Action, included:

  1. “all of our tweets calling for the end of taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood,”
  2. “all of our tweets of our undercover investigations into Planned Parenthood, and”
  3. “any ultrasound images of preborn children.”

In emails forwarded to MRC Culture, Live Action shared correspondence with Twitter regarding its ad policy.

Live Action provided two examples of ads blocked by Twitter in January because they violated Twitter’s “Hate, sensitive topics, and violence” policy.

One was a tweet by Live Action President Lila Rose with a picture of an unborn baby accompanied by the words “human with potential.”



Another video tweet called for the defunding of Planned Parenthood.



In emails from May, a Twitter representative told Live Action that there were “two options to consider that will allow you to become eligible for advertising.” Live Action must either “Remove current and past sensitive content from your website and Twitter feed” or “Create a new Twitter handle for marketing/advertising efforts that drives to a new website that does not include content that violates our policy.”

In the same email chain, a Live Action asked Twitter to confirm what content must be removed. Live Action listed the following:

  • “our undercover investigations”
  • “investigations by the Center for Medical Progress”
  • “images and videos of abortion procedures”
  • “content related to defunding Planned Parenthood”
  • “images and videos of late-term abortions”
  • “ultrasound and images of preborn children”
  • “our petition to defund Planned Parenthood”
  • “links directing to sections of our website that contain videos with the content listed above”

Twitter agreed. “Regarding the content,” the representative wrote, “all that you have listed looks correct.”

After a phone call in May, Twitter emailed Live Action notes from the conversation.

“The following is prohibited under our sensitive advertising content policy regarding language and imagery,” the representative reminded Live Action. “Threatening, violent, gruesome, abusive, shocking or disturbing content,” “Offensive, vulgar or obscene content,” and “Inflammatory or provocative content which is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.”

Twitter also linked to “Examples of the @LiveAction content that is in violation of our sensitive advertising content policy.” Those included the following tweets:







In an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson Tuesday evening, Live Action President Lila Rose slammed Twitter for applying a double-standard based on “ideological grounds.”

“Because Planned Parenthood, the nation’s biggest abortion chain, is advertising on Twitter, but Live Action, which is a leading pro-life platform for the pro-life movement, is not allowed to,” Rose stressed.

On its website, Live Action posted tweets from both Live Action and Planned Parenthood side by side to show that their similarities – except in their positions on abortion.

“We can't comment on the Tweets of other organizations and whether or not they've been flagged in the past or are currently in review,” a Twitter representative wrote in one email. “There are of course a lot of factors that go into an account being flagged - and without the appropriate context it's impossible to compare apples to apples here.”

Twitter did not comment to MRC Culture by time of publication. However, the social media platform told Fox News: “Twitter has clear, transparent rules that every advertiser is required to follow, and the political viewpoints of an organization do not impact how these rules are applied.”