In a new open letter, a coalition of medical providers, health care professions, and advocacy nonprofits are urging TikTok, Twitter, Facebook/Instagram and YouTube to “do no harm” and stop the spread of abortion-related disinformation online.
The letter, organized by Physicians for Reproductive Health, and the national gender justice organization, UltraViolet, takes specific aim at how the platforms are enabling, profiting from, and spreading dangerous medical disinformation and misinformation about the FDA-approved drugs mifepristone and misoprostol. Both drugs are used in a FDA-approved regimen for medication abortion care, and have a long track record of safety and scientitic study.
However, thousands of posts across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube have false claims that these FDA-approved and provider-prescribed medications are unsafe, calling them “deadly,” “dangerous,” and “chemical,” falsely claiming they pose “serious health risks,” and describing medication abortion as “death by mail.”
The letter, calls on the platforms to:
- Remove harmful medical disinformation about abortion care, including disinformation on mifepristone and misoprostol, and de-platform accounts that continue to post this harmful content.
- Link to medically accurate information to provide correct, scientifically sound medical information about these prescriptions, similar to what your companies have done in response to / to address COVID disinformation.
- Expand disinformation policies to include bans on medical disinformation, including abortion disinformation.
- Implement these policies across all languages used on your platforms.