Google Seeks to Remove Deceiving Ads From Anti-Abortion Clinics

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Organizations putting up abortion ads are now required to certify if they actually offer abortion procedures as part of Google Inc's plan to remove misleading ads / Photo by: Pixabay via Pexels

 

Organizations putting up abortion ads are now required to certify if they actually offer abortion procedures as part of Google Inc's plan to remove misleading ads.

The certifications will be displayed within the ads, which will inform viewers whether the organization "provides abortions" or "does not provide abortions," to protect viewers from deception. Implementation of the disclosures will begin next month, but will only be required in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

The new requirement comes after reports from last week said Google has given ads to a group of pregnancy clinics that stated they offered abortions but were later revealed to be part of an anti-abortion group, according to The Verge.

Anti-abortion groups deceive pregnant women from the information and services they are seeking by pretending to offer abortions or abortion resources. In the past, Google has removed ads from pregnancy centers due to misleading information—although these were on a case-by-case basis. The issue even extended to results on Google Maps.

The Verge said that the new policy seeks to curb this kind of deceitfulness in regards to advertisements on Google search. "It’s reliant on Google properly vetting these disclosures, though, and it’s not clear how thorough that process will be," it explained, adding that the tech giant will review the advertiser's organization to confirm the validity of their declaration.

"Organizations have to provide abortions at their own facilities in order to qualify," the tech news site added.

However, the new policies won't be able to prevent anti-abortion organizations from gaming results on search and Maps. But note that advertisements are usually the first few results that show up on any search results. This means the change could help people find the information they are seeking.

Google's new policy also comes after several US states enact almost complete abortion bans and tagging such services illegal. In that perspective, it is interesting to see the classification between providing or not providing abortion: Such ads could help women find the resources they need, but it could also push Google to restrict ads if one of the states make another move.

The search giant has already prohibited abortion advertisements in a number of countries due to domestic laws, and it even limits how they would appear in certain countries.