YouTube Says It Will Remove Videos Showing Abortion Misinformation

·2 min read

YouTube said it will take down videos that show unsafe methods of abortion or otherwise promote false information about the procedure. 

“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,” the company wrote in a tweet Thursday.

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The policy follows last month’s Supreme Court ruling which overturned Roe v. Wade, the ruling that provided a constitutional right to abortion, and subsequently led to several states outlawing the procedure. 

YouTube said it will take the video as part of its policy to “prioritize connecting people to content from authoritative sources on health topics.” The company already has an existing misinformation policy, which prohibits “certain types of misleading or deceptive content with serious risk of egregious harm.” This includes “harmful remedies or treatments, certain types of technically manipulated content, or content interfering with democratic process,” as well as content that “contradicts local health authorities’ or WHO guidance on certain safe medical practices.”

In addition to removing videos, the company said it will also launch an information panel featuring local and global health figures under abortion-related videos and above related search results. “Like all of our policies on health/medical topics, we 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,” YouTube stated.

Earlier this month, Google, also owned by YouTube’s parent, Alphabet, said that it would quickly delete the location history for individuals searching on Google for abortion and other reproductive-health-related queries. Alphabet, which also owns fitness and health tracker Fitbit, also said it would allow users to delete records on the app logging their menstrual cycles. 

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