Digital Disparities: The global battle for reproductive rights on social media

Digital health   |   27 March 2024 

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Our report with the Centre for Countering Digital Hate finds that Meta and Google are blocking access to accurate information on abortion and wider reproductive healthcare in countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

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Citing examples from MSI’s programmes in Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria and Vietnam, the reports shows that Meta – the platform behind Facebook and Instagram – and Google are censoring accurate information on sexual and reproductive health and rights, while promoting anti-choice misinformation across the platforms.

Analysis of Meta’s Ad Library in Ghana and Mexico found that the company profited from anti-abortion ads promoting false or misleading claims, which were seen up to 1 million times across both countries between 2019 and 2024.

At MSI, we know that access to accurate information on reproductive healthcare can be a lifeline. Responding to the report, our Global Marketing Manager, Whitney Chinogwenya, shared:

“False information can only be corrected with facts and evidence, yet from Ghana to Nepal, Meta is removing our Facebook pages and ads with no explanation, while turning a blind eye to abusive messages directed at our team members for simply doing their jobs. And in our programmes in the Global South, Google does next to nothing about harmful websites advertising fake clinics that put women and girls at serious risk. We’re always firefighting the next issue, with no one to turn to but a chatbot.

“Women and girls are being neglected by these major tech platforms who are putting their bottom lines above the public good. In the face of growing attacks on our rights and freedoms, it’s time for them to crack down on disinformation and support women to make the choices that are right for them, with genuine information they can trust.” 

Critical information about reproductive health and abortion should not be censored – the impact on women’s health is too costly to ignore. We’re calling on Meta and Google to Act.


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