Some abortion-related posts and hashtags banned on Instagram
Many Instagram users have reported that the social media platform has erased some posts and restricted at most minuscule two hashtags relating to abortion services, as well as cautions applied to some topics.
Additionally, an account associated with a platform for locating abortion providers was temporarily suspended and then restored by the site.
A search for two phrases and hashtags connected to abortion pills, prescribed drugs that can be taken to induce abortion, and still accessible for mail order in all 50 states from foreign providers revealed almost no new postings, showing that the firm is censoring what users see.
In contrast to usual Instagram searches, searches for “abortion pills” and “mifepristone” (a popular abortion drug) on Monday returned no results. The hashtags for the same terms displayed a notice claiming recent posts with the tags “are hidden because some postings may not follow Instagram’s Community Guidelines.” When Instagram started limiting hashtags, it was not apparent what criteria were broken.
Since the hashtags are restricted, users are unable to read recent posts tagged with the hashtags, which are generally located in a separate tab on the site. The older, more popular postings, such as anti-abortion ones, are the only ones that will appear in a search for a hashtag’s most recent activity.
“Regulated goods” is the term used to describe Instagram’s parent company Meta’s policy, which is referred to in a tweet by Meta communications director Andy Stone. Stone states, “Content which attempts to buy or sell drugs is not permitted. It is permissible to publish content that discusses prescription drug affordability and accessibility. Several instances of erroneous enforcement have been uncovered, and we are addressing these.”
Instagram unblocked the hashtags “abortion pills” and “mifepristone” later on Monday after this post was initially published.
Meta-owned website Motherboard revealed on Monday that Facebook, too, is limiting posts regarding abortion pills and resources.
Other posts and hashtags about abortion pill resources, including postings that point users to abortion pill resources and information, are still available on the platform. In addition to the banned hashtags, at least a dozen social media users and two abortion resource organizations claim that Instagram is eliminating postings on abortion from its platform. When Roe v. Wade was repealed, Meira Gebel claims Instagram erased numerous of her posts about abortion and birth control due to undefined violations of the platform’s community guidelines.