Twitter is facing a backlash after allowing a sponsored ad promoting FGM, female genital mutilation, that was viewed 30,000 times before it was caught and removed.
“Would Twitter run a paid ad opposing jihad terror? No, I don’t think so, either,” wrote Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch.
Last week, Twitter rejected a Twitter Ads campaign that used the term “illegal alien,” apparently deeming it “hate speech” even though it is enshrined in federal law and U.S. Supreme Court opinions.
The British website Metro News reported the sponsored FGM ad featured a video of Arwa Sohangpurwala of an organization called Dawoodi Bohra Women for Religious Freedom stating, “My daughters have also undergone khafz, and they’re growing up as perfectly as other children of their age.”
Sohangpurwala said that as “a mother, I can never do anything to harm them.”
Metro reported that despite FGM being illegal in the U.K., with a penalty of up to 14 years, the group paid Twitter to promote the tweet.
Consequently, it showed up on timelines of users who didn’t follow the account.
The reaction was immediate.
Esmael Omar wrote: “Speak for yourself woman. Don’t speak on behalf of innocent girls. FGM is FGM no matter how you want [to] sugar coat it. Leave alone cutting – even touching the female genitalia of a girl is still child abuse.”
Twitter issued a statement, according to Metro, saying it was “a promoted tweet and was removed for violation of our policies.”
But the report said that while the promotion was ended, the original statement remained on Twitter.
The “religious freedom” group is a branch of the Shiite Muslim community that promotes female circumcision, the report said.
The United Nations group UNICEF, Metro said, estimates more than 200 million women have undergone FGM procedures worldwide.