After a reporter from the leftist site Slate contacted YouTube, complaining that search results when using the term “abortion” featured a plethora of videos that were anti-abortion, including some from the pro-life group Live Action and others featuring staunch pro-life advocate Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro, suddenly the platform reputedly reflected a change with more videos featured that were pro-abortion or simply not pro-life.
April Glaser, writing for Slate, trumpeted her part in effecting the apparent change at YouTube. She started by comparing the results of conducting a search for “abortion” on Google as opposed to YouTube:
When you Google “abortion,” the top results are relatively staid considering the divisiveness of the topic in American life. There’s a link to information about the procedure from Planned Parenthood, a Google map of nearby abortion providers, a link to an overview of anti-abortion and pro-choice arguments from the nonpartisan procon.org, and links to various news sources like the New York Times and the New Yorker.
Glaser derided the videos that had dominated the search for ”abortion” on YouTube, snapping, “ The top search results for ‘abortion’ on the site were almost all anti-abortion—and frequently misleading.” Glaser had issues with plenty of the pro-life videos, remarking that one featured a “gory two minutes” that showed “images of a formed fetus’ tiny feet resting in a pool of blood”; several featuring former abortionist turned pro-life advocate Dr. Antony Levatino, one from Shapiro, and another of a blog titled, “Abortion: My Experience,” in which the woman acknowledged it had been “My Biggest Mistake.”
Glaser writes that she emailed YouTube on December 14 complaining about the search results, and voila! She wrote on December 21, “By the end of this week, the top results (which are dynamic) included a news segment in Tamil, a video in which the director Penny Marshall (who died this week) ‘Opens Up on Drugs and Her Abortion,’ and a clip of an anti-abortion advocate responding to the abortion-legalization law passed in Ireland. Anti-abortion content meant to enrage or provoke viewers was no longer purely dominating the results, though they still looked very different from the generally more sober Google results.”
Glaser cites Becca Lewis, a researcher with Data & Society who “studies extremists content on YouTube,” asserting, “You see people talking about using YouTube to present the ‘other side’ of an issue or story and a lot of times those are conspiracy theories or disinformation.”
Glaser notes that one video that was recommended after watching a BBC video was called “Abortion or Baby: Before You Decide.” The video featured, according to Glaser, “seven-minute animation that looks like a simple instructional video, but describes how a fetuses’ body parts are pulled apart by surgical instruments in the womb and half the video is about how marriage and raising the child is probably the best, most fulfilling option for a pregnant woman.”
Wouldn’t want women to know what actually happens, would we?