Even more so for Gilead, high technology companies’ motto: Do be evil

Gilead

Abortion

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade,[1] some high technology companies are definitely not our friends. Notable offenders include Meta, parent of Facebook and Instagram, and Google.

First, I don’t know how you argue that Facebook and Instagram aren’t singling out “abortion pills” for sanction:[2]

On Monday, an AP reporter tested how the company would respond to a similar post on Facebook, writing: “If you send me your address, I will mail you abortion pills.”

The post was removed within one minute.

The Facebook account was immediately put on a “warning” status for the post, which Facebook said violated its standards on “guns, animals and other regulated goods.”

Yet, when the AP reporter made the same exact post but swapped out the words “abortion pills” for “a gun,” the post remained untouched. A post with the same exact offer to mail “weed” was also left up and not considered a violation.[3]

It is legal to mail abortion pills. Marijuana cannot be legally mailed. And the stated policy explicitly proscribes such posts on guns.[4]

Meanwhile, Google Maps has been failing to distinguish between Crisis Pregnancy Centers, which exist solely to dissuade pregnant women from seeking abortions, and actual abortion clinics:[5]

According to the New York Attorney General Office, Google was made aware of this issue and promised to address it as far back as 2018. However, a recent test search for local abortion clinics of Google Maps by the office in Binghamton, N.Y., produced a list that included several crisis pregnancy centers.[6]

I have talked about artificial idiocy[7] and I was initially inclined to attribute these responses to it or, perhaps, to it being “gamed.” But the reporting makes Facebook’s and Instagram’s double-standard[8] and Google’s failure to an address an issue that had been called to its attention four years ago clear.[9]

I’m guessing that both of these failures in fact reflect high technology companies’ desperate attempts to avoid right-wing backlash. Perhaps they realize that white Christian nationalists will almost certainly soon hold a monopoly on political power in the U.S. And if you’re scheduling an abortion with Planned Parenthood with their online tools, watch out:[10]

[I]f [women seeking abortions] used the organization’s online scheduling tool, it appears Planned Parenthood could share people’s location — and, in some cases, even the method of abortion they selected — with big tech companies.

An investigation by Lockdown Privacy, the maker of an app that blocks online tracking, found that Planned Parenthood’s web scheduler can share information with a variety of third parties, including Google, Facebook, TikTok and Hotjar, a tracking tool that says it helps companies understand how customers behave. These outside companies receive data including IP addresses, approximate Zip codes and service selections, which privacy experts worry could be valuable to state governments looking to prosecute abortions.

In a video shared with The Washington Post, Lockdown founder Johnny Lin visited the Planned Parenthood website, opened the scheduling tool, input a Zip code and selected “surgical abortion” as a service. As he clicked around, a development tool let him see how data such as his IP address was being shared with Google, Facebook and many other third-party companies. Only the companies would know for sure how they use our data, but any data sitting on servers is vulnerable to potential cyberattacks or government subpoenas. In a criminal abortion case, an IP address would be pertinent because with the help of internet service providers, law enforcement can trace IP addresses back to individuals.[11]

This, as state lawmakers seek to prevent women from crossing state lines for abortions, using the Texas model of allowing anyone to sue people who in any way help those women.[12] Oh, just in case we weren’t crystal clear that under a white Christian nationalist regime, women will exist principally for procreation, Clarence Thomas wants to overturn the decision protecting access to contraception.[13]

Ryan Deto, “Supreme Court abortion decision places higher stakes on Pa. election, experts say,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 24, 2022, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/supreme-court-abortion-decision-places-higher-stakes-on-pa-election-experts-say/

Matt Ford, “Clarence Thomas Will Wipe Out Marriage Equality and Contraception Next,” New Republic, June 24, 2022, https://newrepublic.com/article/166891/thomas-roe-marriage-equality-contraception

Brent Kendall and Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Eliminates Constitutional Right to Abortion,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-overturns-roe-v-wade-eliminates-constitutional-right-to-abortion-11656080124

Caroline Kitchener, “Roe’s gone. Now antiabortion lawmakers want more,” Washington Post, June 25, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/25/roe-antiabortion-lawmakers-restrictions-state-legislatures/

Jennifer Calfas and Deanna Paul, “Abortion Providers Confront New Landscape After Roe,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-wake-of-roe-v-wade-ruling-abortion-providers-confront-new-landscape-11656268445

Hannah Knowles and Josh Dawsey, “Pence leans in on abortion, as Trump, other potential 2024 candidates are more cautious,” Washington Post, June 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/27/abortion-2024-presidential-candidates/

Tara Palmeri, “D.C. Insiders Grapple with the Politics of Roe,” Puck News, June 27, 2022, https://puck.news/d-c-insiders-grapple-with-the-politics-of-roe/

Amanda Seitz, “Instagram and Facebook remove posts offering abortion pills,” Associated Press, June 27, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/abortion-technology-politics-health-media-016eb3efd65dafc2b568af1495f5bac5

Tatum Hunter, “You scheduled an abortion. Planned Parenthood’s website could tell Facebook,” Washington Post, June 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/06/29/planned-parenthood-privacy/

Caroline Kitchener and Devlin Barrett, “Antiabortion lawmakers want to block patients from crossing state lines,” Washington Post, June 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/29/abortion-state-lines/

Darryl Coote, “N.Y. AG to Google: Stop directing people seeking abortions to anti-abortion centers,” United Press International, June 30, 2022, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2022/06/30/New-York-Google-Maps/9871656579373/


Roman-Catholic Church

Sex

Ed Kilgore, “Denied Communion at Home, Pelosi Receives It at the Vatican,” New York, June 29, 2022, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/06/denied-communion-at-home-pelosi-receives-it-at-the-vatican.html


  1. [1]Brent Kendall and Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Eliminates Constitutional Right to Abortion,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-overturns-roe-v-wade-eliminates-constitutional-right-to-abortion-11656080124
  2. [2]Amanda Seitz, “Instagram and Facebook remove posts offering abortion pills,” Associated Press, June 27, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/abortion-technology-politics-health-media-016eb3efd65dafc2b568af1495f5bac5
  3. [3]Amanda Seitz, “Instagram and Facebook remove posts offering abortion pills,” Associated Press, June 27, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/abortion-technology-politics-health-media-016eb3efd65dafc2b568af1495f5bac5
  4. [4]Amanda Seitz, “Instagram and Facebook remove posts offering abortion pills,” Associated Press, June 27, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/abortion-technology-politics-health-media-016eb3efd65dafc2b568af1495f5bac5
  5. [5]Darryl Coote, “N.Y. AG to Google: Stop directing people seeking abortions to anti-abortion centers,” United Press International, June 30, 2022, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2022/06/30/New-York-Google-Maps/9871656579373/
  6. [6]Darryl Coote, “N.Y. AG to Google: Stop directing people seeking abortions to anti-abortion centers,” United Press International, June 30, 2022, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2022/06/30/New-York-Google-Maps/9871656579373/
  7. [7]David Benfell, “Our new Satan: artificial idiocy and big data mining,” Not Housebroken, April 5, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/01/13/our-new-satan-artificial-idiocy-and-big-data-mining/
  8. [8]Amanda Seitz, “Instagram and Facebook remove posts offering abortion pills,” Associated Press, June 27, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/abortion-technology-politics-health-media-016eb3efd65dafc2b568af1495f5bac5
  9. [9]Darryl Coote, “N.Y. AG to Google: Stop directing people seeking abortions to anti-abortion centers,” United Press International, June 30, 2022, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2022/06/30/New-York-Google-Maps/9871656579373/
  10. [10]Tatum Hunter, “You scheduled an abortion. Planned Parenthood’s website could tell Facebook,” Washington Post, June 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/06/29/planned-parenthood-privacy/
  11. [11]Tatum Hunter, “You scheduled an abortion. Planned Parenthood’s website could tell Facebook,” Washington Post, June 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/06/29/planned-parenthood-privacy/
  12. [12]Caroline Kitchener and Devlin Barrett, “Antiabortion lawmakers want to block patients from crossing state lines,” Washington Post, June 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/29/abortion-state-lines/
  13. [13]Matt Ford, “Clarence Thomas Will Wipe Out Marriage Equality and Contraception Next,” New Republic, June 24, 2022, https://newrepublic.com/article/166891/thomas-roe-marriage-equality-contraception

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