Congressman Blackburn visits Natchez Trace Parkway, gives insight on censorship


Congressman Blackburn visits Natchez Trace Parkway, gives insight on censorship

PHOTO: Congressman Blackburn speaks with hikers and sightseers at Natchez Trace Parkway on Saturday, June 2, 2018. / Alexander Willis

By ALEXANDER WILLIS

Congressman Marsha Blackburn visited the Natchez Trace Parkway on Saturday in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Trails Act of 1968, which paved the way for national trails all over the country. Greeting hikers and children at the national park, Blackburn also answered some questions pertaining to the issue of political censorship on social media.

Representing Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District on the House of Representatives, Blackburn announced her intentions to run for the Senate last year, following Republican Senator Bob Corker’s announcement that he would not seek re-election.

Blackburn’s main opponent in the race is former Governor of Tennessee Phil Bredesen, and according to polling data, the race is close. Bredesen currently holds a five point lead as of late April. The Senate election begins Aug. 2.

Blackburn gained nationwide attention after her campaign ad announcing her candidacy was censored by Twitter for mentioning “the sale of baby body parts.” According to the Washington Post, a Twitter representative did confirm that the ad violated Twitter’s advertising rules.

“What we do know is Twitter and Facebook both have said they’re going to employ more content reviewers,” Blackburn said. “What we want to make certain of is that [that] does not infringe content from conservative groups. As we had done our research, what caused us concern was that it seemed to be the conservative groups that were being censored, and the liberal groups were not being censored.”

Blackburn said she was not aware of any further censorship of her content on social media platforms since the Twitter ordeal in late 2017.

This comes after a wave of censorship accusations from conservative news outlets. Perhaps most notable are conservative social media personalities and sisters Diamond and Silk, who testified to Congress about their own censorship. Blackburn said she had personally met with the duo after their testimony. She even defended Diamond and Silk during the Mark Zuckerberg Congressional Hearings back in April.

During Zuckerberg’s Congressional Hearing, Blackburn asked the Facebook creator if they “subjectively manipulate your algorithms to prioritize or censor speech?” Zuckerberg said he doesn’t consider what Facebook does to be “censoring speech,” but said content such as terrorism can be automatically filtered out. Blackburn responded “Let me tell you something right now… Diamond and Silk is not terrorism.”

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