Facebook’s Sandberg Criticizes Twitter for Censoring Blackburn Ad

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Being interviewed by Axios Executive Editor Mike Allen at the Newseum in Washington D.C. Thursday morning, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg criticized social media rival Twitter for censoring an ad from Tennessee Congresswoman Marsh Blackburn announcing her Senate campaign.

Allen spent most of the exchange, which was simulcast live on MSNBC in the 9 a.m. ET hour, grilling Sandberg on reports that groups with Russian ties bought political ads on Facebook during the 2016 presidential campaign. While pushing back, Sandberg explained:

But a lot of what we allow on Facebook is people expressing themselves. And the thing about free expression is that when you allow free expression, you allow free expression. And that means you allow other people to say things that you don’t like and go against your core beliefs….And it is a super interesting week to think about this because of what happened with Marsha Blackburn and Twitter.

Allen followed up: “Did Twitter make a mistake by blocking ads for Representative Marsha Blackburn’s campaign ad which would mention ‘baby body parts’?”

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Noting that Twitter “took down the ad and put it back up,” Sandberg framed the issue: “Marsha Blackburn runs an ad, she 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….But the question is, should divisive political or issue ads run?” Allen interjected: “It sounds like you would be fine with it.” Sandberg continued: “Well, our answer is yes. Because when you cut off speech for one person, you cut off speech for all people.”

While defending Blackburn’s “free expression,” the Facebook executive also made sure to announce her own left-wing, pro-abortion views: “I am a staunch supporter of reproductive rights, a staunch supporter of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is not selling baby body parts.”

Actually, Planned Parenthood employees have openly admitted to doing just that in numerous undercover videos and in nationally-televised interviews.

Here is a transcript of the October 12 exchange:

9:08 AM ET

(…)

SHERYL SANDBERG: But a lot of what we allow on Facebook is people expressing themselves. And the thing about free expression is that when you allow free expression, you allow free expression. And that means you allow other people to say things that you don’t like and go against your core beliefs. And it’s not just content, it’s ads. Because when you’re going on – when you’re thinking about political speech, ads are really important. And it is a super interesting week to think about this because of what happened with Marsha Blackburn and Twitter.

MIKE ALLEN [AXIOS]: Did Twitter make a mistake by blocking ads for Representative Marsha Blackburn’s campaign ad which would mention “baby body parts”?

SANDBERG: So, there’s a lot to unpack here and let’s start by saying this is hard.

ALLEN: Did Twitter make a mistake?

SANDBERG: Well, Twitter took down the ad and put – took down the ad and put it back up. And so, there are some specifics about this ad, like “baby body parts,” that let’s leave aside. Let’s take the hard question of, you know, Marsha Blackburn runs an ad, she 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. I am a staunch supporter of reproductive rights, a staunch supporter of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is not selling baby body parts. But the question is, should divisive political or issue ads run?  

ALLEN: It sounds like you would be fine with it.

SANDBERG: Well, our answer is yes. Because when you cut off speech for one person, you cut off speech for all people. And the content’s really important, but so are the ads. Because when 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. Which is why we allow –  

ALLEN: It’s a spoiler, right?  

SANDBERG: Why we allow issue-based ads, even when they’re hard. And I think the responsibility of an open platform is to let people express themselves. 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.

(…)


Via News Busters