Facebook is blocking posts about the mailing of abortion pills

If you post on Facebook that you can mail abortion pills to those who need them, don’t be surprised if you get a warning – or even have your account suspended. A tipster tells motherboard that a minute after posting “I will mail abortion pills to each of you” they were notified that their status update was removed. When they later tried to post about it again, they were banned for doing so. motherboard was able to replicate the scenario and we were also able to confirm it. We tried to post “abortion pills can be mailed” on Facebook and were quickly notified that we had violated the site’s community standards.



On the next slide explaining our violation, Facebook says it doesn’t allow users to buy, sell, or trade things like tobacco, marijuana, recreational, and non-medical drugs. To try it out, we posted “I sell cigarettes,” “Cigarettes can be mailed,” “Antidepressants can be mailed,” and “Painkillers can be mailed.” None of them were tagged. General posts such as “Abortion is health care” were also not flagged. Regarding our flagged post, we were asked whether or not we would like to accept Facebook’s enforcement actions. After deciding to accept it, our post was removed but we were not banned. Corresponding motherboardgot her account banned for 24 hours after multiple posts were reported.

It’s unclear when the site began removing posts about mailing abortion pills, and if it only began after the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade had fallen. The Supreme Court decision made all types of abortion illegal in several states with trigger laws, but people in those states can still have abortion pills mailed to them by international groups like Aid Access. However, Facebook could prevent that information from getting to some people who need it, especially since it flags posts with “mail” and “abortion pills” for international users too. We posted from outside the US and still got a warning. “Some things aren’t regulated everywhere,” reads the slide explaining our violation, “but because Facebook is borderless, we have global standards that apply to everyone.”

The New York Times also recently reported that Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has told employees not to discuss the Supreme Court ruling in the workplace. According to reports, moderators would collapse and quickly remove posts about abortion on the company’s Workplace platform. However, Meta told employees it would reimburse them for travel if they needed access to out-of-state health and reproductive services “to the extent permitted by law.”

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Russell Falcon

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