Like several other pro-life organizations, Life Issues Institute experienced significant censorship by Google.
In an effort to capitalize on America’s fixation with the Supreme Court, we kicked off a months-long educational campaign on social media, combined with the production and placement of half-hour radio specials. The social media element was substantial and at first successful beyond our expectations. We were effectively reaching audiences who were persuadable on the issue of abortion with tested pro-life messaging.
It was a great start. Then the leaked Supreme Court document made its way into the media and things got ugly very quickly.
Prior to Politico publicizing Alito’s majority opinion on Dobbs, we were reaching hundreds of thousands of Americans with compelling video messages.
The document was leaked on May 5 when our videos were being viewed by over 10,000 people each day. On May 6 video views dropped to under 4,000, the day after down to 2,221 and averaged approximately 2,500 thereafter.
Google was shadow banning us.
The experienced professional who was placing the videos for us said it was the most blatant case of censorship he had ever seen. It was particularly disturbing because he had literally spent weeks jumping through Google’s hoops to ensure that each of the videos qualified as “eligible” and “certified” that Life Issues Institute was permitted to run abortion ads.
All that changed with the then apparent demise of Roe. Google’s claws came out and quietly throttled our campaign, hoping we wouldn’t notice.
Our online expert then repeated the laborious process of re-certifying our videos only to have Google shadow ban us again.
The ad that gave Google the most indigestion was a woman describing her late-term abortion and its devastating impact on her life. The media giant claimed our ads advocated “speculative and experimental medical treatment” which we were successful to reverse. Even so, behind the scenes Google made sure the ad failed to generate any impressions.
During phase two of our online educational campaign, Google once again shadow banned our videos, giving the highest scrutiny to those it felt were most effective for our side. This time they began to outright “disapprove” the videos due to “Speculative and experimental medical treatment, cell therapies and gene therapies” which couldn’t have been further from reality.
Our campaign did well in spite of censorship but would have reached a much wider audience had Google not deliberately silenced our life-saving message.
Of course, Life Issues Institute wasn’t the first and won’t be the last to be virtually gagged, censored and banned from what should be an environment of a free exchange of ideas.
Abortion Pill Reversal is a protocol for reversing the deadly affect of the chemical abortion pill should the mother change her mind about aborting her child. This Facebook page which connected desperate mothers to medical help was removed without warning and offered only a vague explanation why. It “goes against our Community Standards on guns, animals, and other regulated goods.” Thankfully, the page was restored weeks later. But during that time women were denied this life-saving assistance.
Now, the deniers of free speech and purveyors of exclusion have pro-life pregnancy centers in their crosshairs. Pro-abortion Democrats have asked Google to censor these oases of life-nurturing assistance. Seventeen state attorneys general, led by Virginia AG Jason Miyares, put Google on notice that they will sue if it gives into “left-wing political pressure.”
YouTube recently announced it will censor what it calls “false” abortion content such as abortion’s harmful impact on women. It will ban factual medical and scientific information while giving free reign to extreme, meritless pro-abortion advocacy.
Advocates of unrestrained abortion lack scientific and medical verification. So, they respond the only way they know how by using fearmongering and advancing lies while silencing the other side.
But we will not be defeated. Pro-life education is absolutely critical in a post-Roe era. And we pray you will continue to support our efforts.
On the battleline for LIFE,
President, Life Issues Institute
Life Issues Institute is dedicated to changing hearts and minds of millions of people through education. For 32 years, organizations and individuals around the world have depended upon Life Issues Institute to provide the latest information and effective tools to protect innocent human life from womb to tomb.