Democrats urge tech companies to contain abortion misinformation


House Democrats on Thursday called on Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk to push back on the “rapid spread of abortion misinformation and disinformation,” with the lawmakers saying people are being discouraged from receiving abortion services due to “bad medical advice.”

The Democratic representatives on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform said the misinformation and disinformation being spread online was putting people’s’ health at risk.

“As the legal status of abortion changes across the country and a number of state legislatures impose drastic new restrictions on health care choices, people seeking information about abortion care and services turn to [Facebook, Instagram, and X] for accurate and reliable information—not propaganda,” the letter stated.

“Yet individuals and groups that are anti-choice are promoting dangerously inaccurate medical information and false content about abortion online.”

In their letter to Zuckerberg, lawmakers cited the community standards that the platforms Threads, Instagram and Facebook all employ, saying misinformation was still being proliferated despite what Meta has stated.

They noted posts and advertisements for products that claimed to be able to reverse chemical abortions, something the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has said is “unproven and unethical.”

The House Democrats pointed to an apparent double standard when it came to posts relating to abortion on Musk’s platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Public reporting indicates that your company has removed posts for advocating access to abortion. Yet, posts spreading false information about abortion are allowed to remain on your platform,” their letter stated.

The congress members requested that each of them take action to tamp down the misinformation and also asked that a briefing be provided to Oversight Committee staffers.

Meta and X did not immediately respond when asked for comment by The Hill.

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