Following the controversy over a series of anti-jihad subway posters that appeared in subway stations on Monday, the MTA has announced a new plan to add disclaimers for all non-commercial ads the agency predicts may "imminently incite or provoke violence."
The disclaimers will be prominently displayed and read, "This is a paid advertisement sponsored by [Sponsor]. The display of this advertisement does not imply MTA’s endorsement of any views expressed."
The MTA initially rejected the ads produced by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, but were forced to eventually comply after a federal judge ruled the ads were protected under First Amendment grounds.
MTA Chairman Jay Lhota said of the new plan, "You deal with a First Amendment issue, you deal with a free speech issue with more free speech."
During Thursday's meeting to vote on the disclaimers, about ten protestors demanding the ads be taken down were removed by transit officials.Earlier in the week, an Egyptian-American journalist was arrested for spray-painting over one of the ads. While getting cuffed Mona Eltahawy said, "This is non-violent protest. See this, America? I'm an Egyptian-American and I refuse hate.”