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Youtube to take down content with unsafe abortion procedures, false info on abortion safety

By Taffy Bernales Published Jul 22, 2022 4:31 pm

Starting today, Youtube will be removing unsafe and false abortion-related content from its platform as part of its medical misinformation policies.  

In a series of tweets published by Youtube Insider on July 22, the video-sharing platform announced that it will take down content providing steps for unsafe abortion as well as videos containing misinformation about abortion safety.  

"Starting today and ramping up over the next few weeks, we will remove content that provides instructions for unsafe abortion methods or promotes false claims about abortion safety under our medical misinformation policies," Youtube’s tweet read. 

The tweet also included a link to their misinformation policies, which prohibit “misleading or deceptive content” that promote harmful remedies, treatments, or substances that could result in egregious harm. 

As the platform also bans videos contradicting expert medical consensus, Youtube tweeted that they will rely on published guidance from health authorities.  

“We prioritize connecting people to content from authoritative sources on health topics, and we continuously review our policies & products as real world events unfold,” the Google-owned company said.   

Similar to how Youtube mitigated the limits the spread of misinformation about COVI-19, it is set to launch another “information panel” to give viewers context from local and global health authorities, which will appear under abortion-related videos and above related search results. 

It provided a screenshot of how the panel will be displayed, showing abortion’s definition retrieved from the National Library of Medicine. Users can also click on “learn more” for further information. 

 The move comes after Google was urged by some lawmakers last month to limit or restrict search results that allegedly direct people searching for abortion services to “fake” pregnancy centers instead of legitimate clinics.  

Earlier this month, Google announced that it will delete location history for abortion sites after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last June. This reversal ended United States' long upheld constitutional right to abortion and pushed several states to criminalize abortion procedures. 

Since the ruling, experts in the medical field have alerted netizens against alternative abortion remedies and other misleading and dangerous options that have spread online.