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Mark Zuckerberg reportedly helped reinstate a video that falsely claims abortion is 'never medically necessary,' caving to complaints of Republican politicians

Business Insider
Business Insider
 2021-10-25

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, left, and the former Facebook employee Frances Haugen.
  • Seventeen news outlets reported further findings from leaked internal Facebook documents.
  • One outlet found evidence Mark Zuckerberg helped reinstate a video with a false abortion claim.
  • The Financial Times report said workers had urged leadership to stop bending rules for politicians.

New revelations from the Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen's leaked internal documents show that employees repeatedly urged CEO Mark Zuckerberg to stop bending content-moderation rules for politicians, the Financial Times reported.

Among the documents, known collectively as the Facebook Papers, is an internal memo alleging Zuckerberg was directly involved in a 2019 decision to reinstate a video that falsely claimed abortions were "never medically necessary," according to documents reviewed by the Financial Times.

The inaccurate post was originally removed by a Facebook moderator, leading to backlash from Republican figureheads, the report said.

Facebook's decision to put the post back up was one of several examples cited by employees who claimed executives intervened in misinformation removal "when they see that they could harm powerful political actors," according to the Financial Times.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

A Facebook representative, Joe Osborne, told the Financial Times that "at the heart of these stories is a premise which is false."

"Yes, we're a business and we make profit, but the idea that we do so at the expense of people's safety or well-being misunderstands where our own commercial interests lie," the statement continued. "The truth is we've invested $13 billion and have over 40,000 people to do one job: keep people safe on Facebook."

The antiabortion video at the center of the Financial Times' reporting is most likely a speech made by the antiabortion campaigner Lila Rose, who falsely claimed on the platform in 2019 that "abortion is never medically necessary." Three doctors working for Health Feedback said Rose's claim was inaccurate, explaining that conditions such as placenta previa and HELLP syndrome could make an abortion necessary to prevent the mother's death.

Facebook initially attached the doctors' fact-check onto the video and restricted the page's distribution, prompting Rose to accuse it of censorship, Insider's Isobel Hamilton previously reported .

Four Republican senators, including Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, wrote to Zuckerberg in response, arguing that the doctors who wrote the fact-check were not impartial, therefore violating the code of conduct established by the International Fact-Checking Network.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Physicians for Reproductive Health issued a statement in 2019 further dismissing the claim about abortion.

"The science of medicine is not subjective, and a strongly held personal belief should never outweigh scientific evidence, override standards of medical care, or drive policy that puts a person's health and life at risk," the organization said.

"As physicians, we are focused on protecting the health and lives of the patients for whom we provide care," it added. "Without question, abortion can be medically necessary."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Comments / 379

real story
10-25

Zuckerburg is a Facebook Hitler he is responsible for violence an deaths due to Facebook do ur research he needs to be in federal prison

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128
m sharp
10-25

It's true that abortion is occasionally a medical necessity. But its also true that 97% of the time abortions are performed for convenience not necessity. And it's also true that abortion for any reason besides medical necessity, is murder

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Franklin Loll
10-25

Facebook has no business making " moderation rules. section 230, under which all social media platforms operate states they're to be fair and unbiased in their content. contrary to what Democrats have been taught there are two sides to every arguement.

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35

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