YouTube is ramping up efforts to remove content promoting false claims about abortion and unsafe abortion methods

  • YouTube will remove posts and ads promoting unsafe abortion methods and false claims.
  • The social media platform said it would ban such content under its medical misinformation policies.
  • After the fall of Roe last month, people turned to social media for online abortion resources.

YouTube said on Thursday it will ramp up efforts to remove false claims about abortion safety as well as instructions on unsafe abortion methods from the platform following the fall of Roe v. Wade.

In a statement on Twitter, the social media platform said it would ban such content under its medical misinformation policies.

“Like all of our policies on health/medical topics, we rely on published guidance from health authorities,” YouTube said in the statement. “We prioritize connecting people to content from authoritative sources on health topics, and we continuously review our policies & products as real world events unfold.”

Last month, the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 ruling that granted women the constitutional right to an abortion, prompting people to turn to social media in search of online abortion resources in the wake of the decision.

Though YouTube has pledged to ban content on unsafe abortion methods, The Associated Press and Vice found that Facebook and Instagram suppressed posts about abortion pills immediately after abortion rights were gutted last month.

Last year, Facebook and Google profited from such ads promoting a potentially dangerous “abortion pill reversal” procedure after they were viewed 18.4 million times, according to a report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate. But The Markup, a nonprofit based in New York, found related ads and posts still being served on Facebook as recently as June.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists described the method as “not based on science and do not meet clinical standards.”

“Despite this, in states across the country, politicians are advancing legislation to require physicians to recite a script that a medication abortion can be ‘reversed’ with doses of progesterone, to cause confusion and perpetuate stigma, and to steer women to this unproven medical approach,” the organization said. “Unfounded legislative mandates like this one represent dangerous political interference and compromise patient care and safety.”

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