SAN DIEGO — Twitter removed advertisements for a book on gynecology because they used the word “vagina,” a prominent medical practitioner has claimed.
Dr. Jennifer Gunter, a Canadian gynecologist who also contributes to the New York Times, wrote on Twitter Tuesday that her publishers had been blocked from using the word “vagina” in promotional tweets for her new book, “The Vagina Bible.”
Gunter, who has more than 200,000 followers on Twitter and frequently uses the social media platform to correct myths about gynecology, tweeted: “Just so you know my publisher is not allowed to use the word ‘vagina’ to promote my book on @twitter. The image can have it, but they are not allowed to use ‘vagina’ in the text.”
Tagging Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, she added, “Dear @jack, Vagina is an anatomical term and not a ‘dirty’ word.”
“Our societal inability to say vagina like we say elbow is one reason I insisted on VAGINA in the title,” she said in a subsequent tweet. “When we’re not allowed to say a word the implication is it’s dirty or shameful. Not being able to buy an ad because of the word vagina for a book about vaginas is ridiculous.”
A spokesperson for Twitter told CNN: “We did not take action on Promoted Tweets from this account because of references to sexual organs as those are permitted within our rules. The rejection of some of the promoted content from the account was due to a combination of human error and violations, including the use of profanity and adult products.”
“We have reinstated the Tweets we took down and have informed the account owner of the reasons why we blocked the content that violated our ad policies,” the spokesperson said.
A spokesperson for Facebook told CNN: “We don’t allow ads on Facebook that imply personal attributes including health-related issues because we recognize some audiences within our community may be sensitive to this appearing in their Feed. If an ad isn’t approved, we aim to provide guidance for advertisers on how they can edit it to be compliant with our policies.”