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YouTube to crack down on harmful or misleading abortion-related content

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By The Cube
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Youtube announced that it will be taking down false or harmful content about abortions
Youtube announced that it will be taking down false or harmful content about abortions   -   Copyright  Patrick Semansky/AP

YouTube announced that it will be cracking down on videos containing false claims about abortions or any content deemed unsafe.

The platform said it will delete content promoting unsafe at-home abortions, as well as misinformation about the safety of undergoing the procedure.

This move comes nearly one month after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade, the case that protected the legality of abortions in the country for nearly 50 years.

Since then – as some US states have criminalised abortion – false claims have only spread even more, and this misinformation has serious potential to cause harm to women’s health.

Youtube announced that it will also be launching an “information panel” to provide “viewers with context and information from health authorities.”

This label, for example, will show up underneath abortion-related videos and above relevant search results, as shown in the Tweet below. 

YouTube has already taken a similar approach for other topics such as the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change.

But it is uncommon for the company to say it will remove videos altogether, noted certain experts

But the key question is whether this new policy of removing dangerous misinformation really be enforced. 

Tech platforms have been grappling with how to treat the growing amount of online misinformation about abortions in the US. 

YouTube’s parent company Google has come under fire in recent months.

A group of US lawmakers began urging the company to clamp down on search results that directed people looking for abortion services to fake pregnancy centres, which actually try to convince women not to have an abortion. 

In early July, Google also announced that if someone used their platforms to search for an abortion clinic, their location data would be automatically deleted.