Religious reproductive zealots are liars who ignore the biblical ban on “bearing false witness.” Anti-choice fanatics are shameless in their duplicity. They embrace propaganda with Soviet-level enthusiasm. And Google is helping them.
If a poor pregnant woman living in Phoenix searches Google for “Abortion clinic near me” or “I want an abortion,” 56% of the ads she sees will be for so-called “crisis pregnancy centers.” These are facilities run by religious misogynists who browbeat women into carrying unwanted pregnancies to term. Not that you would know it from their advertising.
Despite the liberal use of “abortion” in their names and promotional blurb, these organizations do not offer abortions. Their websites obfuscate what they do.
Below is a screenshot of the home page of a national anti-choice organization with the Orwellian name, “Your Abortion Choice” — in this case, it is for their Phoenix facility.
No doubt their language is legal. They will do what they say they will — and scare the bejesus out of frightened women. However, I bet that, in addition to the concealment of their intent, their “Medically-Accurate Abortion Information” is a cynical rehash of the debunked claims that “abortion causes breast cancer” and “abortion leads to depression and regret.”
The truth is the diametric opposite in the second case. The medical journal, JAMA Psychiatry, published a five-year study that concluded, “Women receiving wanted abortions had similar or better mental health outcomes than those who were denied a wanted abortion.”
It is also likely their information on “Abortion & Abortion Pill, including Cost” and “Emergency Contraception (PlanB/Morning After Pill) is equally specious.
Google is enabling this deception. The watchdog group, Tech Transparency Project (TPP), designed a test to see what Google would show women of different income levels if they searched for abortion clinics. (Click HERE for their methodology).
The group ran their test in three cities — Phoenix, Atlanta, and Miami. In two of them, the results showed that poor women were likelier to be shown these duplicitous ads. In the third, Miami, results showed that Google most often targeted wealthy women. In total, poor women saw these ads 35% of the time vs. rich women at 25%.
The average rate across all income levels in the three cities reveals that 29% of the ads Google shows women wanting an abortion are for facilities that not only do not provide abortions - but also bully pregnant women into not getting an abortion.
Anti-abortion activists are gaming Google’s algorithms. Google needs to do something about it right now before more pregnant women are hurt. I’m sure that Google would act immediately if they discovered their algorithms presented people searching for kosher food with ads for bacon stores 29% of the time. Do not expect results soon. Big tech is notorious for its misogyny. It is also terrified of the right wing.
Conservatives successfully lie to their base, and other Americans, that apolitical institutions — mainstream media, high tech, medicine, et al. — are promoting liberalism and worse. It is one strand in their twisted strategy to discredit institutions, including the military, the Justice Department, the intelligence community, the courts, schools, and universities.
Fascists rise to power by finding enemies everywhere and tearing down those that prosecute crimes and tell the truth. Joe McCarthy targeted the Pentagon and the State Department. Mao Zedong unleashed his Cultural Revolution. And other tyrants had their ‘enemies of the state.’
It is not only Google. Facebook makes millions from political ads, including those placed by propaganda factories in the former USSR — and now it needs cash more than ever. Infamously, a MAGA now owns Twitter.
Hypocritical conservatives call Washington a swamp. Yet they swim in social media’s sewer. And they constantly whine that corporate America is unfair to them — while they keep cashing Big Business’ checks.