A top US Senator has criticised Twitter and Facebook for blocking Mother Teresa's quote on abortion, saying the pattern of censorship by the two social media giants is "really dangerous".
Texas Senator Ted Cruz on Thursday alleged that the top officials of Twitter and Facebook were unable to respond to a question on blocking Mother Teresa's quote on abortion as hate crime
Mother Teresa, the founder of Missionaries of Charity, is revered for her work with the poor in India.
"Here is a tweet that says abortion is profoundly anti-women and it is a quote from Mother Teresa and this tweet was blocked. Now it is remarkable that Mother Teresa is now deemed hate speech. Do either of you would agree with the proposition that Mother Teresa is issuing hate speech? Is this hate speech?" Ted Cruz asked during a Congressional hearing on Wednesday.
Ted Cruz said that there is a pattern of censorship of conservative and pro-life voices on social media platforms, including posts from the Susan B Anthony List organisation and the marketing campaign of the new pro-life movie "Unplanned".
"They (the extreme left and big tech companies) say if you don't want to be censored, just don't say things we disagree with," Ted Cruz told Fox News.
"That's really the arrogance. We see that on college campuses. We see that in big tech. We had testimony today, for example, we had the producer of the movie "Unplanned", a phenomenal movie -- true story of Abby Johnson, former clinic director of Planned Parenthood who became a pro-life activist," he said.
Cruz alleged that Google refused to run their ads and Twitter took down their web page.
"They did everything they could. The big networks all refused to carry their ads, and nonetheless, it became the number four movie in the country. It's in the theatres right now. We see this pattern repeatedly.
"We heard testimony from the Susan B Anthony List about how repeatedly pro-life tweets, pro-life posts have been censored. We had during the hearing today, I put up a tweet that was sent out from the Susan B Anthony list -- a quote from Mother Teresa that Twitter censored. I asked Twitter, ''Do you consider this quote from Mother Teresa to be hate
Without directly answering the question, Facebook Public Policy Director Neil Potts said a lot of this depends on intent and the context of statements or images or videos that are shared.
"But in general pro-life position would not be violating our community standards for hate speech. I -- the Mother Teresa quote did not -- would not violate ours and -- and to be -- just for complete transparency, we consult a range of groups across the spectrum, across all lyrical ideologies to try to help inform our policies," he said.