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Roe v. Wade: Google location history of women remains vulnerable; YouTube to censor false videos on abortion

New York, United StatesEdited By: Moohita Kaur GargUpdated: Jul 25, 2022, 04:12 PM IST
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Instructions for risky at-home abortions and misleading claims that there is a high danger that the procedure would result in cancer or infertility are a few examples of the information YouTube stated it will remove off its platform globally. Photograph:(AFP)

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One of the biggest fallouts of the overturning of Roe v. Wade was women using the internet to access information about abortion. And let’s be honest, internet is a maze of content, much of which may be false or doctored

On June 24th, 2022, American women not only lost their right to a safe abortion, many say they lost the autonomy they had on their own bodies. Since then, unfortunately, many disheartening news stories have come to light, like that of a 10 years old rape victim having to travel 385 kilometres (200+ miles) for an abortion. However, many organisations have also stepped forward to help out women in whatever way they can. 

One of the biggest fallouts of the overturning of Roe v. Wade was women using the internet to access information about abortion. And let’s be honest, internet is a maze of content, much of which may be false or doctored.

Watch | US: At least 34 arrested near Capitol Hill at a pro-abortion rally

YouTube is now joining the list and taking steps to deal with the repercussions of the US Supreme Court’s verdict. On Thursday, the platform said that it will start removing videos containing false or unsafe claims about the abortion procedure. 

Talking to AFP, YouTube said, “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.”

“We believe it’s important to connect people to content from authoritative sources regarding health topics.”

Instructions for risky at-home abortions and misleading claims that there is a high danger that the procedure would result in cancer or infertility are a few examples of the information YouTube stated it will remove from its platform globally.

One of the biggest names that extended a helping hand back in June was Google. The company promised to protect the location history of its users visiting abortion clinics or other sensitive locations like domestic violence shelters. This step was to help users protect their privacy and escape scrutiny.

However, as per a Guardian report, citing findings by the Tech Transparency Project, the research arm of the non-profit Campaign for Accountability the data still remains vulnerable. Anyone with access to a person’s phone can access their location history.

(With inputs from agencies)

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