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The power of social media
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - By Rey Flores

This past week, we saw how a simple Internet-based effort initiated by three of our pro-life colleagues from across the country put social media to work for pro-life efforts in an organized and effective manner.

The whole purpose was to hold the mainstream news media outlets accountable for not reporting on what could be one of the grisliest criminal trials in American history. As most of you already know, the infamous abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell is on trial in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for several gruesome murders of babies outside the womb.

AbortionWiki’s Andy Moore; Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman; and former ALL staffer, founder of Rock for Life, and current youth outreach director for Priests for Life, Bryan Kemper, all put their efforts together to run what they called a “TweetFest” last Friday.

Since the beginning of Gosnell’s trial in mid-March of this year, hardly a word has been reported by any of the major news outlets such as ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, or other news dailies across the country. This appears to be the mostly liberal media’s biggest show of bias yet.

The “Break the Gosnell Media Blackout TweetFest” had close to 10,000 participants in a matter of 24 hours through a combined promotional effort on both Facebook and Twitter. The purpose was to send out as many “Tweets” through Twitter using the #Gosnell hashtag, therefore making it the highest trending topic on the Twitter social media platform.

I realize that some of you are neither familiar with nor interested in what all of this Internet jargon means, but I assure you that it does have value and the “Break the Gosnell Media Blackout TweetFest” proves it so.

First of all, Twitter is a simple way to share a message through the Internet. In an age of sound bites and news scrolls, it has become a way for people to keep their fingers on the pulse of current events across the world. Second, the way to do that is to post a message on Twitter using what we call a “hashtag,” which is nothing more than a # sign followed by the trending topic, which in this case was #Gosnell.

To engage people initially, Kemper, Newman, and Moore started an event Facebook page that allowed them to invite me and others in a network of pro-life activists and supporters. I hopped on when there were only six people who joined the event. It was pretty amazing to see the number of participants increase by the hour.

The “Break the Gosnell Media Blackout TweetFest” did what it set out to accomplish. It was able to grab the attention of the very same news media outlets who, up until last Friday, April 12, had chosen to completely ignore the Gosnell trial altogether.

One of the first victories was a Tweet posted by none other than Planned Parenthood denouncing Gosnell’s abhorrent practices. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Had Gosnell’s crimes not come to light, Planned Parenthood would probably be lauding and praising Gosnell, but now, in an effort to cover its own behind, Planned Parenthood has thrown Gosnell under the proverbial bus.

The second victory came via a Tweet from none other than CNN’s openly-homosexual Anderson Cooper, who expressed a seemingly serious concern and disgust with Gosnell and the cover-up by him and his fellow journalists.

Ironically, it did not take too long for the news media to try to defend itself by making all sorts of excuses as to why the lack of coverage had more to do with geographical reasons rather than staunch pro-abortion stances.

It’s not enough that most major news media have been carrying water for Planned Parenthood, for the radical homosexual agenda, for anti-Constitutional gun laws, and for the efforts behind it all by the Obama administration, but now they want to deny it?

The “Break the Gosnell Media Blackout TweetFest” has been a great example of how Internet social media can indeed be a powerful tool to give a voice to the common folk. It is the equivalent of modern day smoke signals that if made big enough, can send out the truth far and wide.

In closing, I encourage you all to stay in touch with American Life League via these e-mail newsletters, our Facebook page, and Twitter feeds—all of which you can access on our website at www.all.org. I also welcome you to join the second round of this TweetFest which takes place today, Wednesday, April 17, by visiting the Facebook page at: “Who is #Gosnell TweetFest Round 2 – Expose the Horrors of Kermit Gosnell.”

Rey Flores is American Life League’s director of outreach. He can be reached at

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