“Like all of our policies on health/medical topics, we rely on published guidance from health authorities,” the Google-owned video streaming platform said on Twitter.
“We prioritize connecting people to content from authoritative sources on health topics, and we continuously review our policies [and] products as real world events unfold.”
The platform will also launch an information panel to provide users with “context and information from local and global health authorities under abortion-related videos and above relevant search results.”
1/ 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. https://t.co/P7A27WPYuD— YouTubeInsider (@YouTubeInsider) July 21, 2022
This comes a month after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the seminal 1973 decision that made abortion legal nationwide.
YouTube said its crackdown will expunge content promoting unsafe at-home abortions, as well as misinformation about the safety of undergoing the procedure in clinics located in states where it remains legal.
The purge of misleading abortion videos will ramp up over the next few weeks, according to YouTube.
Under the company’s misinformation policy, YouTube bans certain types of content that it deems to be misleading, deceptive, or “having serious risk of egregious harm.”
“This includes certain types of misinformation that can cause real-world harm, like promoting harmful remedies or treatments, certain types of technically manipulated content, or content interfering with democratic processes,” the policy states.
Google Deleting User Location Data at Abortion Clinics
Amid fears that digital location data may violate the privacy of individuals who visit abortion centers, Google announced earlier this month that will automatically delete location information.
“Some of the places people visit—including medical facilities like counseling centers, domestic violence shelters, abortion clinics, fertility centers, addiction treatment facilities, weight loss clinics, cosmetic surgery clinics, and others—can be particularly personal,” Google said in a blog post on July 1.
“Today, we’re announcing that if our systems identify that someone has visited one of these places, we will delete these entries from Location History soon after they visit. This change will take effect in the coming weeks.”
Some members of Congress want Google to limit the appearance of pro-life pregnancy centers in the results of its influential search engine—a step that 17 Republican attorneys general on Thursday warned would expose the company to potential legal repercussions.
Google said that it would also resist what it deems “improper government demands for data” and continue to “oppose demands that are overly broad or otherwise legally objectionable.”
“Google has a long track record of pushing back on overly broad demands from law enforcement, including objecting to some demands entirely,” the tech giant said. “We take into account the privacy and security expectations of people using our products, and we notify people when we comply with government demands, unless we’re prohibited from doing so or lives are at stake—such as in an emergency situation.”