Twitter placed an age barrier on an abortion-focused ad from a New York congressional candidate on Monday, saying the Democrat's clip could be inappropriate for viewers younger than 18.
The move by Twitter drew swift outcry from the candidate, Max Rose, and came as the latest flashpoint in a feud between Democrats and social media platforms over content restrictions following the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade.
"OUTRAGEOUS," Rose, a former House lawmaker running to recapture a seat covering Staten Island, fumed in a tweet, arguing that he was being censored. "The voters have a right to know so they can make an informed choice."
Carl Sanford, Rose's campaign manager, said the campaign appealed to Twitter. The shield was lifted by the evening.
Twitter did not block logged-in adult users, and the video was viewable on YouTube. But other Twitter users faced a shield flagging "Age-restricted adult content" in the afternoon, hours after the video was posted.
Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Abortion itself is not limited to New Yorkers under the age of 18. Even before the Supreme Court's ruling ending Roe, many Americans under 18 came to the state to receive abortions, dodging age restrictions in their home states.
Rose's dramatic 30-second ad shows a man apparently returning to an empty home, with a voiceover and a flatlining heart monitor sound implying a woman he knows has died.
It ends with text filling the screen saying that Rose's Republican opponent, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, voted to allow state abortion bans without exceptions for the health of the mother.
A spokeswoman for Malliotakis, Natalie Baldassarre, said the ad distorted the incumbent's record. "She supports exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother," Baldassarre said in a statement. "Extremists like Max Rose want abortion up until the moment of birth."
The Supreme Court's 6-to-3 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization dispensed with a half-century of jurisprudence, after former President Donald Trump reshaped the court, appointing three conservatives.
Malliotakis, who beat Rose in the 2020 race for New York's 11th Congressional District, supports allowing abortions to protect a mother's life past the point of fetal viability, her campaign said.
But Rose's campaign highlighted her past votes on abortion and cast her record as extreme.
In July, Malliotakis voted against a House bill meant to force anti-abortion states to allow residents to receive out-of-state abortion services. In September, she voted against a measure intended to broadly enshrine abortion protections before fetal viability, and after in cases that pregnancy poses a threat to a mother's life.
Both bills passed the House and ran aground in the Senate. Three Republicans voted in support of the out-of-state protections, but none in support of the broader bill.
The tempest over Rose's tweet echoed recent claims by Democrats of abortion content censorship.
In the summer, Democrats cried that they were being censored by Hulu after the streaming service rejected ads about guns and abortion.
And Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota penned a July letter to Mark Zuckerberg, head of Facebook, and Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, expressing concern that the platforms had blocked abortion content.
"As a result of the Court's decision, it is more important than ever that social media platforms not censor truthful posts about abortion," the powerful Democrats wrote, "particularly as people across the country turn to online communities to discuss and find information about reproductive rights."