Sheffield, Jamaica Correspondent- I believe in freedom – freedom of religion, creed, and culture. We all have choices to make (irrespective of how folly and ill-advised) and that includes the group of belief systems we cherish. Take for instance, pro-life groups. Don’t they have a choice to choose to support the life of an unborn? Shouldn’t we all support the choice to live and not be flushed down a toilet or drain?
Apparently, Twitter doesn’t view things that way, as they’ve placed a close fist on pro-life groups, censuring the messages they distribute. Twitter also has a choice, and that’s fine, but should they kill the conscious choices of others?
Twitter does not have the right to stifle important messages, or any messages they don’t necessarily agree with. Twitter is a social network, what’s the sense in having a profile if you’re not able to get social and create awareness on pro-life – the right to live?
We don’t see Twitter shutting up homosexuals, do we? I think their judgement is misplaced. People should be allowed to use their profiles to discuss what really matters to them. If Twitter starts taking away that freedom, their existence becomes questionable.
Gastonia, NC Correspondent-The recent uproar about Twitter “censoring” a pro-life group’s messages has been driven so far out of proportion that the true nature of the company’s reasons for its actions have all but been obscured by an avalanche of screeching.
I am pro-life, but the tactics of these groups are disgusting to me. Turning a noble and just cause into an excuse to paste gory, color-enhanced pictures of aborted fetuses and dead babies on the sides of trucks and park them outside restaurants and day care centers is a reductio ad nauseum that makes me question the morals of those behind the pictures. Are they truly believers, or are they just sick, twisted freaks who have found a convenient way to share their perversions with the public?
The Twitter issue is much the same. The pro-life groups’ messages were full of outrage and extreme closeup pictures of the aftermath of terminated pregnancies. The verbiage was full of sensationalistic threats and half-truths, and catered to the lowest common denominator and the basest instincts.
The result of this barrage was to make the pro-abortion groups and their mother ship, Planned Parenthood, look calm and reasoned by comparison. Once again, the liberal agenda was moved forward by those on the side of the light being made to look like raving lunatics, which by default made the other side look like the sensible ones.
While I am quite sure Twitter is liberal to the core, we made it easy for them by using messages that flew directly in the face of their stated policies. Planned Parenthood is highly skilled at couching its message in phrases that will slip past censors, and if we are going to compete we will have to do the same, rather than rail and scream when our unacceptable content gets booted.
Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent- Twitter has claimed that a pro-life group’s ads (Live Action) of preborn children are inflammatory and offensive, and Twitter is suppressing Live Action’s pro-life content. Twitter is asking that Live Action delete its Twitter comments and other information concerning preborn children that are pictured in Live Action ads.
Despite the fact that Twitter is readily available to take Planned Parenthood advertisements and comments concerning a woman’s right to abortion, the online news and social networking platform is censoring the pro-life group Live Action’s advertisements and tweets related to Planned Parenthood and has informed Live Action and their spokesperson and founder, Lila Rose, that any of Live Action’s offensive tweets need to be deleted along with any other information posted that concerns calling for an end to taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood as well as any tweets concerning undercover investigations of Planned Parenthood and any ultrasound images of preborn children.
Live Action has commented, “While it won’t censor Live Action’s and Lila Rose’s tweets outright, Twitter has banned our ability to advertise our content until we delete all the tweets it deems offensive—or, in reality, all the tweets that offend Planned Parenthood,” the organization wrote. She also commented that Twitter had characterized Live Action ads as a “violation of their hate and sensitive policy.” She said that the ads in question “show ultrasound images; they‘re fact-checks of Planned Parenthood’ they’re discussing the prenatal life and its beauty.”
Twitter should not be allowed to take these actions against groups representing pro-life viewpoints, but they obviously are while they stifle the First Amendment rights of a group they don’t agree with or like. It is not acceptable nor should it be allowed to continue as any kind of policy.
Unfortunately, the problem with proclaiming violation of First Amendment rights is that the amendment protects a person from the government punishing, censoring or oppressing someone’s speech, but it doesn’t apply to private organizations like Twitter, so if Twitter decides to suppress or ban an individual or group, there is little to no recourse for that group, such as making a First Amendment claim in court. When private platforms such as Twitter out-and-out suppress and ban certain types of protected speech, they set a troublesome standard for the significance of free speech.
The Twitter platform has been exposed for what it is. It is just another liberal social media and up-to-the minute news and gossip site that shifts at will as to what can and cannot be posted or advertised, which appears to hinge on whether you are a liberal or conservative.
A Twitter spokesperson recently submitted a statement to Fox News and Tucker Carlson concerning the interview with Lila Rose of Live Action that said, “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.” Too bad Twitter doesn’t understand their own double standard and realize they are a one-sided, left-biased social platform that is intolerant of anything related to pro-life causes. Not until more Twitter users realize this will Twitter be seriously challenged.
Owatonna, MN Correspondent- Whether nor not Twitter should be allowed to censor ads from a pro-life group is a moral question that sheds light on the culture and values of Twitter’s owners and executives. It appears that the reason Twitter gave for censoring the pro-life group in question, Live Action, was because the ads violated the company’s hate and sensitivity policy.
Twitter is a private business and is legally able to censor anyone or anything that appears on their website. However, if they reneged on a contract with a person or organization who bought ad space on their website, then they should not be allowed to violate the rules of that contract and remove ads that were bought and paid for.
As with many companies that deal with material supplied by numerous individuals, Twitter has a policy in place to deal with offensive, violent, or incendiary speech or images. Also, as with many companies, Twitter buries their rules deep in the legal fine print. Then they word their policy so vaguely it becomes an entirely subjective decision by Twitter as to what they will and won’t allow to be posted on their site.
Since everyone who registers for a website or pays a membership fee agrees to abide by the rules and regulations of that website by opting into their terms and conditions, Live Action is at the mercy of Twitter regarding censorship, regardless of whether Twitter’s actions are fair or not. It benefits everyone that Live Action has complained long and loud about Twitter’s apparent bias, but the group’s only reasonable alternatives are to find another outlet from which to broadcast their message or start their own version of a social media gathering place used for a peaceful and civil exchange of ideas.