Thursday, August 18, 2022

YouTube To Begin Removing Videos With Abortion Misinformation

YouTube To Begin Removing Videos With Abortion Misinformation


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Video sharing company YouTube will begin cracking down on videos containing and promoting misleading information about abortion.

The Google-owned company dropped the announcement on Thursday through a Twitter thread, weeks after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade, which eliminated women’s constitutional right to abortion.

YouTube is aiming to purge its site of any content that goes against its medical misinformation policies, including those that encourage the conduct of unsafe abortion methods or false claims about abortion safety.

“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,” the company wrote.

Additionally, YouTube said it’s planning to launch an information panel that will appear under abortion-related videos and above relevant search results. The information panel will provide viewers with proper context and verified information from local and global health authorities.

On the same thread, YouTube posted an example of what the information panel will look like by citing an abortion definition by the National Library of Medicine.

Before YouTube, Google first announced that they were working on ramping up their security features to assure users’ privacy in visiting abortion clinics and the like.

Based on the information revealed in their blog post, the company will include several restrictions in its data policy. It will offer protections like automatically deleting the location history of any user Google identifies as having visited medical facilities like abortion clinics, fertility centers, domestic violence shelters, and counseling centers, which are considered particularly personal.

Google will also implement a new data safety section in Google Play and strict protocols in handling its users’ private data to prevent developers from selling personal and sensitive user data.

“We’re committed to delivering robust privacy protections for people who use our products, and we will continue to look for new ways to strengthen and improve these protections,” Jen Fitzpatrick, Google’s senior vice president of core systems and experiences, wrote.

According to Fitzpatrick, the company “supports Congressional efforts to reach bipartisan agreement on nationwide privacy protections that move the burden of privacy of individuals and establish good data practices across the board,” and therefore, they will continue their focus on securing their products while protecting the privacy of their users around the world.

Both applications’ changes and effects will soon be globally available for everyone.


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