MIL-OSI USA: Manning Calls on Social Media Companies to Address Reproductive Health Care Misinformation

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Kathy Manning (NC-06)

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Kathy Manning (NC-06), Democratic Women’s Caucus Policy Co-Chair, lead seven Members of Congress in a letter to Meta, TikTok, X (formerly known as Twitter), and YouTube executives to express concern over the rampant spread of misinformation and disinformation related to reproductive health and contraception on their platforms.

“For many women considering what method of contraception to use, social media is an increasingly popular source of information. While this has allowed reputable science and research organizations to share accurate information more readily, it has also opened the floodgates for the spread of disinformation, misinformation, and misconceptions around contraception,” the Members wrote.

A recent study revealed that social media posts are significantly magnifying the negative effects associated with birth control pills, with many study participants reluctant to take the pill due to misinformation they encountered online.

The Members continued: “The rampant spread of contraception-related misinformation on your platforms is leading to real world public health impacts and has the potential to lead to increases in unintended pregnancies.”

To understand how social media companies are responding to the alarming rise in misinformation about reproductive health and contraception, the Members requested that social media executives answer the following questions:

  • What steps are you currently taking to stop the spread of reproductive health and contraception-related misinformation on your platforms?
  • Are you planning to interrupt the spread of misinformation about contraception in a similar way to your platforms’ handling of COVID-19 misinformation? If not, why not?
  • Are you planning to remove influencers who share misinformation about contraception from your ad revenue or creator revenue programs? If not, why not?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the National Women’s Law Center have endorsed the letter.

The letter was signed by Representatives Kathy Manning (NC-06), Yadira Caraveo (CO-08), Judy Chu (CA-28), Jasmine Crockett (TX-30), Lois Frankel (FL-22), Haley Stevens (MI-11), Susan Wild (PA-07), and Nikema Williams (GA-05).

Read the full letter here.