YouTube to crack down on abortion ‘misinformation’ videos

YouTube is cracking down on videos containing “abortion misinformation” and other videos deemed unsafe.

“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 tweeted on Thursday.

YouTube’s parentcompany Google has been criticized after lawmakers began urging the company to clamp down on search results that allegedly direct people looking for abortion services to crisis pregnancy centers, CNBC reports.

Google said earlier this month it will work to quickly delete location history for people going to abortion sites and other medical sites following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, which turned abortion regulation to individual state legislatures.

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

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said YouTube’s decision is an important “first step,” and that she’s called on social media companies to crack down on misinformation since her first month in office.

“Everyone deserves access to truthful medical information. And here’s the truth: Abortion will always be safe, legal, & accessible in New York,” she wrote on Twitter.

The video-streaming platform said it’s also launching an “information panel” to provide “viewers with context and information from local and global health authorities.” That will show up underneath abortion-related videos and above relevant search results.

YouTube gave an example of how it will be displayed, showing a definition of abortion, according to the National Library of Medicine.

“An abortion is a procedure to end a pregnancy,” the display said. “It uses medicine or surgery to remove the embryo or fetus and placenta from the uterus. The procedure is done by a licensed healthcare professional.”

The panel includes a link to “learn more” and instructions to “Consult your local medical authority for advice.”

YouTube took a similar approach to videos about the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccines.

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