Last week’s decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade has quickly had a ripple effect throughout the country, as women everywhere are seeking resources to help with their abortion options—but according to some users on Instagram, the company is blocking important abortion pill information and hashtags. Those who are using Instagram to provide abortion pill assistance found that hashtags pertaining to the information were blocked by Meta, and the company offered a response.
Earlier this week, Instagram deleted select posts and limited hashtags related to abortion pill services, while also briefly suspending (and then reinstating) an account belonging to an abortion services location platform. Unlike regular Instagram searches, searches for “abortion pills” and “mifepristone” (a popular abortion pill) did not immediately return any results.
Additionally, hashtags for those same terms, returned a message that read “[posts] are hidden because some posts may not follow Instagram’s Community Guidelines.” In response to the complaints and ensuing backlash, Meta Communications Director, Andy Stone, explained the issue.
Via a written message, Stone wrote “Content that attempts to buy, sell, trade, gift, request or donate pharmaceuticals is not allowed. Content that discusses the affordability and accessibility of prescription medication is allowed. We’ve discovered some instances of incorrect enforcement and are correcting these.”
However, a short while later Instagram unblocked the “abortion pill” and “mifepristone” hashtags.
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