OH NO, Anti-Choice Liar People 'Censored' By Evil Corporate Behemoth ... Pinterest
All this week, conservative media has been aflutter after finding out that the anti-choice group Live Action had been banned from Pinterest several months ago. Live Action, as you may know, is a group founded by anti-abortion activist Lila Rose that mostly focuses on doing "exposés" of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. They do things like call up Planned Parenthood and ask if they can do a "sex-selective abortion" or donate money specifically to abort a black baby and then go "Ta-da! See! Planned Parenthood loves sex-selective abortions and is also racist!" when the actual truth of the matter is that Planned Parenthood does not consider the reason someone has an abortion or donates money to be any of their damn business.
Here is the bullshit they are pushing this week:
A "whistleblower" from Pinterest contacted James O'Keefe of Project Veritas (who has long been in cahoots with Lila Rose) with the stunning news that not only was there a ban on posting content from their organization, but their site was blacklisted from Pinterest and categorized as porn, even though it is clearly not porn, and is instead just an organization that makes up weird shit about abortion and abortion providers. And not only that, but the site was also censoring Bible verses. Can you believe?
So now all the stupid people are going around screaming that Pinterest is discriminating against and censoring anti-abortion content and Christianity in general. For example:
WOW — @Pinterest silences pro-life content, bans @LiveAction, and suppresses Christian terms. New video from… https://t.co/f8mDhFmWvG— Donald Trump Jr. (@Donald Trump Jr.) 1560384351.0
Yesterday, about five people showed up to the Pinterest headquarters for an event O'Keefe described as a "major" protest against the social media site.
@Pinterest - stop censoring pro-life voices like @LiveAction! #StopTheBans https://t.co/GWjR8PqDm2— Let Them Live (@Let Them Live) 1560364951.0
Ironically, the hashtag they are using, #StopTheBans, is actually the same hashtag people have been using to protest the new anti-abortion laws popping up all over the country, so if you click on it, all you are gonna get is pro-choice content. Whoops!
Tucker Carlson also had
Hermey The Elf Who Wanted To Be A Dentist Eric Cochran, the now-fired "whistleblower," on his television program last night so he could Labrador-face at him about how Pinterest is definitely in the pocket of Big Abortion.
Fired Pinterest Insider Goes Publicyoutu.be
But as you might expect, none of the things they are saying happened actually happened.
LiveAction was not banned for pushing "pro-life content." They were banned for making shit up. They were banned because their site was the source of a lot of conspiracies and medically inaccurate information, such as the claim that abortion causes breast cancer, which it does not.
Earlier this year, following reports that the site was becoming a hub for medical misinformation, Pinterest decided to crack down on health-related misinformation. I would like to think that we could all agree, regardless of our political positions, that people ought not be obtaining medical advice from the same place I get my nail art ideas and crochet patterns.
Pinterest did not, however, create a new internal category for this new kind of banned content, which is why Live Action is listed under "porn," along with sites called "organic healthy tips" and "organic lifestyle magazine" which we can be reasonably sure are also not "porn."
We can also be reasonably sure that Pinterest is not banning those sites because they are censoring all content related to organic, healthy eating, but rather because those sites—in particular—were spreading some stupid, unscientific bullshit.
We can also be sure that Pinterest is not banning anti-choice bullshit, because I just typed "pro-life" into the search bar and got hundreds and hundreds of results.
If I were to go around saying that having an abortion would give one healthier, shinier hair, that would not be "pro-choice" content, it would be a lie. If you can't tell the difference between stating your belief that abortion is wrong and telling a damaging and absurd lie, then that is really more of a you problem than it is a "censorship" problem.
As for banning "Bible verses"? They didn't ban those either. Clearly!
As the site explained in a statement:
"Religious content is allowed on Pinterest, and many people use our service to search for and save Pins inspired by their beliefs. To protect our users from being targeted based on personal characteristics such as their religion, we have policies in place so that ads and recommendations don't appear alongside certain terms."
Yeah. What that means is that advertisers cannot go "Oh hey, this person posted some Bible verses, let's sell them some things based on that!" That is actually to the benefit of the user. People should be able to post about their personal religious beliefs without that being the business of someone trying to sell them things. Duh.
Do I actually believe that these people think they are being censored? No, I do not, and you shouldn't either. They are very clearly aware of the reasons why Live Action was taken off of Pinterest and the fact that other anti-choice bullshit remains on there. They are being disingenuous. What they want is for other people to believe it. For "reasonable" people to go, "Well, I don't agree with them, but golly, they shouldn't be censored!" They think they have a hook and they're going with it. Don't let them.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse