by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Governor of New York Kathy Hochul (D) sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday, in which she urged him to curb the “spread of misinformation” about abortion laws and procedures on his social media platform, the Hill reports. Replacing Andrew Cuomo as NY Governor last month, Hochul said in her letter that many Facebook posts receiving high levels of engagement “purposefully inflate or misrepresent public health data” on abortion.
During a briefing on Monday, Hochul said the purpose of her letter was to request that Facebook take appropriate measures in fighting “a war against misinformation,” the Hill reports. According to Hochul’s letter, a study of Facebook engagement between January 1 and March 20, 2019, found that 40% of stories receiving the highest level of engagement on the platform were anti-abortion posts about the New York State Reproductive Health Act.
“These articles, memes, and other shared posts often describe horrific procedures that have no basis in reality, cite entirely made-up studies, and purposefully inflate or misrepresent public health data,” Hochul wrote. “The goal behind these posts is clear: to sow fear, confusion, and shame, and to advance an agenda to control women’s bodies.”
In her letter, Hochul made reference to the current outcry over the new Texas “heartbeat” Act, which bans abortion after six weeks’ gestation. The law is controversial not only because many women do not yet know they are pregnant at this stage, but also because the state government has given citizens (including persons outside the state and unknown to the woman) the authority to sue anyone organization or individual who helps a woman get an abortion for an award of $10,000 or more.
“I’m asking Facebook starting today to help clean up the act, help us wage a campaign of truth and not lies, with respect to what is going on in Texas and what is going on here in the state of New York because misinformation spreads like wildfire,” Hochul said.
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