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Like Facebook, Twitter Blocks Heng Video, Then Changes Mind

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Photo Illustration conceptualizing Twitter's block of an Elizabeth Heng campaign ad
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For the second time in a month, Elizabeth Heng said a social media service blocked her campaign video. And, for the second time in a month, a social media company restored it.
This time around, Twitter removed Heng’s video on grounds that it violated the company’s policy. According to Heng’s campaign, Twitter said that the ad, featuring images of the Cambodian genocide, were “offensive, vulgar, or obscene.”
The video features images of the bodies on the ground, as a result of the atrocities under Pol Pot in the 1970s. Heng’s family escaped to America, an essential part of her story.
Heng, a Republican running for Congress in the 16th district of California, had a similar experience with Facebook. The social media giant blocked her four-minute ad after her campaign attempted to boost it to reach more viewers, using similar reasoning as Twitter.
After a national outcry, which saw Heng appear in numerous national TV and radio programs, Facebook reversed its decision.

Twitter Explains

Now, Twitter has followed suit.
Twitter informed the Heng campaign of its decision earlier today (Aug. 16). But, soon after Heng notified the media, Twitter changed its mind.
“We had momentarily rejected the ad for breaking our Inappropriate Content policy,” a company spokesperson told GV Wire. “(We) can confirm that we reverted this decision, and the ad is no longer banned.”
Heng, running against incumbent Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno), says this is evidence of a concerted effort to silence her.
“In the past few weeks Facebook and Twitter have been called out by conservatives for deliberately shutting down conservative voices as evidenced in multiple cases,” Heng said in an email statement. “Unfortunately, the tech companies are holding the all of the power and have no apparent desire to correct biased censorship of their platforms. When I’m elected I’ll fight for internet transparency, so that every American has a chance to be heard.”

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email