Big Tech Faces Dilemma If Roe Is Overturned

The challenge for Big Tech firms is the state of abortion restrictions.

Protocol’s senior reporter Ben Brody stated that Big Tech companies, such as Apple and Meta, struggled with compliance with both state laws and the privacy of their users.

“These issues would likely give anyone thinking about an abortion in a state where it’s banned ample reason to increase their digital hygiene: to chat only on fully encrypted platforms, avoid saved Google searches, disguise web traffic, block ads, ditch smartphones entirely when traveling for health care and minimize data-collection and sharing by apps,” Brody wrote. “All of this, of course, will make it more difficult for people to access abortion.”

Brody argued that companies would have to deal with “demands” from state governments to turn over user data to determine whether a law against abortion was broken.

“Facebook may have to decide how it will respond to a subpoena seeking the IP address of an abortion rights group administrator who fundraises,” he wrote. “Google might face demands about the identities of advertisers trying to get out information on how to obtain an abortion in states where it’s illegal. GoFundMe may have to figure out how it’ll treat users raising money for out-of-state abortions. Tech and telecom, which face thousands of so-called geo-fenced warrants each year, could have to deal with demands seeking to find out who was merely near a reproductive health care clinic.”

In the last year Newsbusters reported that several companies created funds to “protest” laws that restricted abortion in Texas.

Many social media platforms have also urged support for abortion. Media Research Center’s Tierin-Rose Mandelburg reported that Twitter highlighted abortion rights while Instagram censored posts about the March for Life:

“Twitter emphasized pro-abortion posts by highlighting “Roe” under their “Politics” category. This tag allows for more related tweets to be seen. These tags increase the reach of similar tweets. Center for Reproductive Rights posted in celebration of the “49th anniversary of #RoevWade,” and Planned Parenthood tweeted that a Roe v. Wade reversal could “erase … our protected rights.” Both posts along with many others touted support of Roe v. Wade. 

Insta, evidently not content to follow Twitter’s lead, deleted posts that supported life. Instagram took a picture from my Instagram account. I posed with a sign I carried at the March for Life that asked: “If you were inconvenient should we kill you too?” The caption of my post read “63 million murders for convenience is 63 million too many. Let’s make this the last year we gotta march for ALL life! Roe gotta go!” 

Instagram deleted my post and claimed in a removal notice that ‘some audiences may be sensitive to different things’ only six hours after it was posted. Instagram since reinstated my post after I appealed, but the platform’s reasoning still stands out for its ridiculousness. Big Tech censored me for affirming the sanctity of life but had no qualms leaving up celebratory posts about abortion.” 

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