Twitter Censors MRCTV Video About Students for Life Arrest

August 3rd, 2020 11:50 AM

Twitter has allowed numerous videos of the Black Lives Matter protests and even Antifa riots on its platform. But a video about the Students for Life chalking a sidewalk gets slapped with a label for “potentially sensitive content.” 

A tweet from MRCTV, the multimedia arm of the Media Research Center, was censored on Twitter with an interstitial, or filter, that prevented users from seeing the video. The label on the filter said, “The following media includes potentially sensitive content.” 

The video itself was hardly controversial. Except to Twitter censors. “Today we’re outside Planned Parenthood in D.C. with pro-life organizations that are proclaiming that black pre-born lives matter,” said MRCTV’s Jessica Kramer in the video. “Unfortunately, two of the attendees got arrested using sidewalk chalk.”

The video went on to interview Tina Whittington, the executive vice-president of Students for Life. “So we decided that because of all of the things that have been going on with Black Lives Matter that we wanted to draw attention to the fact that pre-born Black Lives Matter,” she said. “And so, just as Mayor Bowser has opened up the streets of D.C. to other Black Lives Matter events, painting Black Lives Matter in the street — there’s even been Defund Planned Parenthood painted on the street — she has opened up the street to free expression. And so we thought what better message to put in front of a Planned Parenthood that aborts, you know, hundreds of black babies every year that black pre-born lives matter painted right here on the street.”

Whittington said that the group sent Mayor Muriel Bowser a letter asking for permission to paint the message. She also said that the group had asked for permission to assemble. The group was told by the special events officer in D.C. that there was not much the office could do to stop them, according to Whittington. However, they did not receive a yes or no from the mayor’s office. 

“We got our ‘no’ this morning when six police officers in their vehicles were here waiting to arrest us if we started painting on the street,” said Whittington. So instead, Students for Life decided to use sidewalk chalk on the sidewalk outside the Planned Parenthood office. Immediately, they were arrested. “[There’s] not legal precedent for that,” said Whittington. “We are allowed to chalk the sidewalks that are public sidewalks here in Washington D.C. Like I said, it happens every Saturday here. Why would it not happen— why would they block it from happening this Saturday?” 

The caption for the tweet said, “Two Students For Life activists got arrested for painting ‘Black Preborn Lives Matter’ on a public sidewalk. Students For Life VP Tina Whittington says the group will be suing DC Mayor Bowser for ‘violating our 1st Amendment rights.’”

Twitter did not respond for comment at the time of publication. However, the Twitter Rules state, “Twitter can identify potentially sensitive content that other users may not wish to see, such as violence or nudity.”