About the Author
Opinion Archives
E-mail Scott
Scott's Links

Twitter throws away money, loses public relations fight

By Scott Tibbs, October 27, 2017

It is difficult to understand why a company that is struggling to stay afloat and find anyone willing to invest in it would repeatedly turn down money from paying customers. But that is what Twitter did when it refused to run an ad by Marsha Blackburn, and what they continue to do by refusing money from Live Action to run advertisements.

The Blackburn fight was a public relations fiasco for Twitter, which eventually backed down and decided it will allow "inflammatory" ads by a candidate for the United States Senate. But by that time, Twitter had managed to hand the Blackburn campaign tens of thousands of dollars in free advertising via earned media. Blackburn got more exposure and Twitter threw away money. What kind of business strategery is that?

On some level, it is reasonable that a social media service would have different standards for what is allowed in user-generated content and what they will promote to their user base through a paid advertisement. Just because something may be posted without violating terms of service does not mean that Twitter necessarily wants to have it promoted. But the opinions of Blackburn and Live Action are relatively mainstream opinions among Republicans and abortion opponents.

Let's be honest here. This was never about objectionable content. This was always about a political and ideological objection to the video. This is fine, of course. As a private corporation, Twitter is free to choose what advertisements to accept or reject. The problem here is the complete dishonesty of Twitter's explanation. Had they been honest from the beginning, I could respect their position even if I did not agree with it. However, it is impossible to respect a bunch of liars who are too cowardly to state their real position.