Lawmakers urge Google to tackle misleading abortion search results

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) thoughts David Marcus, head of Facebook’s Calibra (digital wallet service), during testimony prior to a Senate Banking, Housing and City Affairs Committee hearing on “Inspecting Facebook’s Proposed Electronic Forex and Info Privateness Issues” in Washington, July 16, 2019.

Erin Scott | Reuters

Various lawmakers are urging Google to clamp down on misleading lookup outcomes that steer folks seeking for abortion products and services to disaster pregnancy facilities that oppose it.

The letter, led by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., attracts on investigate by the nonprofit Middle for Countering Electronic Despise. In states with induce legislation that would correctly prohibit abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned, 11% of look for final results for “abortion clinic around me” and “abortion capsule” in fact pointed to “anti-abortion fake clinics,” in accordance to the letter.

The report also identified that, in these states, 37% of search success on Google Maps ended up for “pretend clinics,” as were being 28% of Google ads displayed at the top rated of the results.

The lawmakers notice that Google in fact did supply a disclaimer on misleading advertisements for the so-known as pretend clinics in 2019, though they criticized them as remaining complicated for buyers to see.

“However, no these types of warning is existing on non-sponsored search success on Google Search,” the lawmakers wrote. “The prevalence of these deceptive adverts marks what appears to be a about reversal from Google’s pledge in 2014 to acquire down advertisements from disaster being pregnant facilities that engage in overt deception of women in search of out abortion information and facts on the net.”

The lawmakers asked Google CEO Sundar Pichai about the actions the enterprise would just take to limit the overall look of the anti-abortion clinics in Google research outcomes, advertisements and maps when consumers look for for abortion services. They asked that if Google would not acquire motion to avoid the final results from showing up, it would at minimum insert “consumer-helpful disclaimers” describing if a resulting clinic does not provide abortions.

The letter was signed by 18 other Democratic senators and reps as nicely as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an impartial.

Google did not immediately offer a reaction.

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