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Cen­sorship of con­ser­v­ative ideas has increased recently across social media plat­forms, and even the iTunes App Store, and con­ser­v­a­tives are right to fight back.

Even people who don’t agree with their ideas should be con­cerned about this restriction in dis­course. Con­ser­v­a­tives deserve a chance to have their ideas heard.

Pro-life orga­ni­za­tions have been espe­cially cen­sored. Live Action— a pro-life group known for their videos of ani­mated abortion pro­ce­dures and inves­tigative jour­nalism exposing Planned Par­enthood for cov­ering up sex traf­ficking and other horrors— is not allowed to have spon­sored content on Twitter, meaning they cannot advertise on the social media platform. The Susan B. Anthony list, a non-profit orga­ni­zation that sup­ports pro-life politi­cians, faces the same restric­tions.

The cen­sorship began earlier this year when Twitter told Live Action that their adver­tise­ments would not be allowed unless they removed “offensive” and “inflam­matory” content. Rhetoric calling for the defunding of Planned Par­enthood falls under these vague rules, according to Twitter. SBA list was told that the phrase “killing babies” was not allowed in a video adver­tisement.

Twitter had pre­vi­ously halted adver­tise­ments from Rep. Marsha Blackburn, because she spoke about her desire “to stop the sale of body parts” by Planned Par­enthood. Twitter later allowed the adver­tise­ments, but only after they were crit­i­cized for it, proving that if people speak out, change is pos­sible.

“Twitter was wrong to censor Rep. Blackburn’s ads, and only did the right thing when they were sub­jected to media scrutiny,” said Lila Rose, the pres­ident of Live Action. “Twitter must now lift the ban on similar adver­tising from Live Action and SBA List. Twitter has sig­nif­icant power as a media channel to influence public opinion, and just as with Rep­re­sen­tative Blackburn, they have no business silencing the pro-life voice.”

Mean­while, Planned Par­enthood is allowed to run their ads.

In a similar case, Human Coalition, a pro-life group ded­i­cated to pro­viding long-term care for pregnant women in need, has saved the lives of more than 7,000 babies, according to their Twitter page. The orga­ni­zation had a mobile appli­cation for four years, which was down­loaded twenty thousand times. On the app, people could see prayer requests for women con­sid­ering abortion, with posts such as “Someone con­sid­ering abortion in Detroit, Michigan scheduled an appointment with a center.” Users could then anony­mously indicate that they were praying for the sit­u­ation.

The app was removed from the iTunes Store this summer. According to Human Coalition’s website, the removal came without warning, although the app had been crit­i­cized by pro-choice members of the media in the weeks pre­ceding the decision. When Human Coalition reached out to Apple, the company did not answer their ques­tions about why the app was removed.

“There is a growing trend in the U.S. to attempt to deter or silence Amer­icans who oppose the fatal dis­crim­i­nation against pre-born children,” Brian Fisher, the pres­ident of Human Coalition, told Fox News. “This move by Apple is not sur­prising, though it is a deep dis­ap­pointment.”

It isn’t just pro-life views which are being cen­sored. Prager Uni­versity, which pro­duces videos offering a con­ser­v­ative per­spec­tives on a wide range of topics, recently announced that they had filed a lawsuit “to stop Google and YouTube from unlaw­fully cen­soring its edu­ca­tional videos and dis­crim­i­nating against its right to freedom of speech.”

More than 50 PragerU videos have been moved into “restricted” mode, meaning some users won’t be able to watch them depending on their set­tings, or “demon­e­tized,” meaning ads cannot run before those videos and PragerU misses out on the revenue they would have gen­erated. While the “restricted” videos typ­i­cally contain content that is inap­pro­priate for younger audi­ences, the PragerU channel con­tains no such content. Some of the videos that are restricted include expla­na­tions of the sixth com­mandment, the founding of Israel, and “Why Did America Fight the Korean War.”

“Watch any one of our videos and you’ll imme­di­ately realize that Google/YouTube cen­sorship is entirely ide­o­log­i­cally driven,” said Dennis Prager, the founder of PragerU. “Their cen­sorship is pro­foundly dam­aging because Google and YouTube own and control the largest forum for public par­tic­i­pation in video-based speech in not only Cal­i­fornia [where PragerU is based], but the United States, and the world.”

If you think these orga­ni­za­tions shouldn’t be cen­sored because of their beliefs, there are three peti­tions you can sign. Go to liveaction.org/twitter-petition, prolifeapp.com, and prageru.com (click on “Peti­tions”). It’s important to fight for these voices to be heard.

 

Chandler Lasch is a senior studying history.