TikTok Bans Pro-Life Group For Innocuous Baby Video

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• January 31, 2020 4:15 pm


TikTok banned pro-life group Live Action for nearly a day over an innocuous video featuring mothers and babies that the social media platform now acknowledges did not actually violate its community guidelines.

In a press release, Live Action wrote that it posted the video Thursday afternoon, only for moderators to remove it an hour later. A half hour after the group appealed the removal, Live Action's account was banned entirely by the video-sharing service for "multiple Community Guidelines violations."

Based on a popular TikTok meme, the offending video depicts a woman choosing between two candies labeled "Be pro-abortion" and "Be pro-life and help save babies." After choosing the pro-life candy, the video shows pictures of happy babies and testimonials of women who chose to carry their pregnancies to term.

"This is blatant viewpoint discrimination and an egregious attempt to silence pro-life voices," said Alison Howard Centofante, Live Action director of external affairs, in a statement. "TikTok should reinstate our account in full and allow all voices on the platform."

TikTok, a video-sharing app owned by a company with close ties to the Chinese government, reversed its decision after being reached for comment by the Washington Free Beacon.

"TikTok is a platform for creative expression that welcomes diversity of users and viewpoints," the app said in a statement. "Following a review, we have determined that there were no violations of our Community Guidelines, and the issue was the result of a human error by a moderator. We apologize for the mistake and have reactivated the account."

Last Friday, Twitter flagged a pro-life video from the Donald Trump campaign as "sensitive content," making it more difficult for users to view. After harsh criticism from the campaign, Twitter said the video was flagged "in error" and removed the tag.

In 2017, Twitter likewise blocked the announcement video for Tennessee Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn for what it called "an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction." Blackburn had posted a video saying abortion providers engage in "the sale of baby body parts," in reference to her investigation into Planned Parenthood allegedly "donating" body parts in exchange for financial compensation. Twitter said Blackburn would be allowed to repost the video if she removed the line.