Meta and Google restricting access to reproductive health information

Meta and Google are allegedly restricting reproductive health information on their platforms across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate and MSI Reproductive Choices found that social media and ad platforms are “hindering efforts to promote accurate information about abortion and reproductive rights around the world,” the report reads.

The information was declined or removed from Meta and Google platforms, citing ‘sensitive content’ and other “vague reasons.”

Alongside the removal and rejection of this information, Meta has placed advertising restrictions on MSI’s accounts in places like Nepal, Vietnam, and Ghana.

MSI Reproductive Choices is an international organization that provides contraception and abortion services to almost 40 countries across the world.

The MSI team in Ghana reported that Google Ads were highly restrictive, banning phrases like “pregnancy options” from being used in campaigns on its platforms.

Meta’s Ad Library in areas such as Ghana and Mexico were found to profit from anti-abortion ads that encouraged the proliferation of false or misleading information. These ads were seen up to a million times between 2019 and 2024.

Furthermore, these paid ads, purportedly by anti-abortion groups, were approved by Meta and can be seen spreading false and inaccurate information about reproductive rights.

The nature of these ads promotes “conspiracy theories – including misleading claims that efforts to decriminalize abortion were financed by “global powers and international companies,” in order to “eliminate” local populations.”

Anti-abortion groups from outside of these countries, namely US organizations, are enforcing these ads in affected countries. The ads were viewed almost 4 million times across the world.

While restricting reproductive information, Big Tech companies also fail to address anti-abortion misinformation and protect local reproductive health providers from abuse.

“The report also found that social media companies turn a blind eye to abuse and misinformation campaigns directed at local abortion service providers in these countries,” the press release states.

In countries like Kenya, pro-reproductive rights groups are targeted with abusive language on platforms such as Facebook and X, while the MSI group in Ghana reported receiving abuse on TikTok.

“Social media companies mine users’ personal data in the Global South but take little care to protect local human rights and civil liberties,” Imran Ahmed, CEO and founder of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, said.

More from Cybernews:

European cyber agency shares top ten threats: skill shortage on the rise

Cloudflare blocked 3.4 billion unwanted emails last year

Nikon presents its newest superzoom lens, the Z 28-400mm

Invasion of the infostealers: meet the malware stealing your cookies

Rent Go exposes over 160K customer passports, driver’s licenses

Subscribe to our newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are markedmarked