Friday, November 17, 2017

Facebook is Ignoring Anti-Abortion Fake News

The New York Times (Nov. 10, 2017): Facebook is Ignoring Anti-Abortion Fake News, by Rossalyn Warren

As Facebook addresses the role of "fake news" on its platform, largely in relation to the 2016 election and Russian political propaganda, another potentially more difficult concern arises. The spread of false reproductive rights and health news is widespread and often harder for Facebook to spot (and manage).

Facebook’s current initiatives to crack down on fake news can, theoretically, be applicable to misinformation on other issues. However, there are several human and technical barriers that prevent misinformation about reproductive rights from being identified, checked and removed at the same — already slow — rate as other misleading stories.

Identifying a fake news sources is not always straightforward. The social media giant says it often targets "spoof" sites that mimic legitimate news sources. But misleading anti-abortion sites can be hazier to identify. They generally publish original pieces, but often alongside inaccurate facts or with poor sourcing, which "helps blur the line between what’s considered a news blog and 'fake news.'"

Facebook aims to limit fake news by making it more difficult for these sources to buy ads or generate spam. "Most false news is financially motivated," Facebook says. This is not often the case with anti-abortion advocates, though, who are overwhelmingly driven by strong religious or political beliefs. The goal isn't profit but persuasion. 

Many are concerned that misinformation regarding reproductive rights and abortion in particular may detrimentally affect current political movements. Ireland plans to hold a referendum next year regarding whether to lessen the country's strict abortion regulations. Pro-choice advocates are worried that the rapid spread of abortion-related misinformation on Facebook (like a purported causal link between abortion and breast cancer) may affect the vote. 

Facebook has yet, though, to directly address concerns over this type of scientific misinformation in the same way they have begun to address fake news about last year's election. 

November 17, 2017 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Culture, Current Affairs, In the Media, Politics, Pro-Choice Movement, Religion, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Study Finds Telemedicine for Administration of Abortion Pill Safe and Effective

Reuters: Abortion pill via telemedicine seen safe, effective, by Amy Norton:

MedicalSymbol Women prescribed the "abortion pill" after a videoconference with a doctor appear to fare as well as those who have a face-to-face visit, a new study finds.

The findings, researchers say, suggest that using technology to expand access to the abortion pill can be safe and effective -- though it remains controversial.

The study found that of 449 women seen at Iowa Planned Parenthood clinics, those who were given the abortion pill after a "telemedicine" consult had a successful abortion 99 percent of the time. . . .

July 27, 2011 in Abortion, Medical News, Reproductive Health & Safety, Scholarship and Research, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sex::Tech 2011: San Francisco, April 1 & 2

 ISIS, Inc. presents the 4th annual Sex::Tech, a conference on new media, youth, and sexual health:

Sex::Tech 2011 is poised to be better than ever. We have a few registration slots left, so best to grab them up today.

We're opening with a fabulous group of youth from across the country in a panel called, Youth Reflect: Masculinity, Social Media and Film Friday, April 1st at 8:30 am.

ISIS is releasing our first white paper with the support of the Ford Foundation,
TECHsex USA: Youth Sexuality and Reproductive Health in the Digital Age Friday, April 1st at 10 am.

Friday's mid-day plenary features mHealth luminaries: Jody Ranck (mHealth Alliance/UN Foundation), Jen McCabe (Contagion Health), Amanda Mills (AOL Mobile), and Miles Orkin (American Cancer Society) Friday, April 1st at 2:15 pm.

MTV's 16 and Pregnant team provides a glimpse behind the scenes of the most popular cable series among young people aged 16-34 Saturday, April 2nd at 8:30 am.

Check Out the Full Schedule.

Be sure to meet National Youth Leaders, working the conference both days:

    Young Feminist Powerhouse, Shelby Knox
    Multimedia Team, Youth UpRising
    Youth Journalists, New America Media
    Peer Educators, Scarleteen, Berkeley High School and DramaWorks

If you can't make it, the three plenary sessions will be livestreamed at our Partner Organizations' websites:

RH Reality Check
The NC's Sex Really
ISIS' Sex::Tech

Follow us for the latest Sex::Tech 2011 updates as they emerge:

Sex::Tech Conference:

March 30, 2011 in Conferences and Symposia, Reproductive Health & Safety, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

text4baby Program Helps Pregnant Women and New Mothers Stay Informed

New York Times: Mothers-to-Be Are Getting the Message, by David Bornstein:

We’re used to hearing about public initiatives that get mired in politics or entangled in bureaucracy, but we rarely hear about programs that exceed expectations. So here’s one: last week marked the one-year anniversary of a program called text4baby, a service that sends free text messages to women who are pregnant or whose babies are less than a year old, providing them with information, and reminders, to improve their health and the health of their babies.

The service, made available through a broad partnership of community health organizations, wireless carriers, businesses, health care providers and government health agencies, is catching on like wildfire: to date, about 135,000 women have signed up — and organizers have set a new goal of reaching one million users by the end of 2012 (there are four million births each year in the U.S.) What are they doing right? . . .

February 12, 2011 in Parenthood, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Texting While Birthing"

New York Magazine: Texting While Birthing, by Tina Cassidy:

The biological case for live updates from the delivery room.

Not long ago, a Boston anesthesiologist witnessed a childbirth milestone. In the operating room, a mother, awake while undergoing a C-section, lay on a hospital bed. A sheet was draped in front of her, protecting the sterile field while shielding her eyes from the cutting below, none of which she could presumably feel, except for vague sensations. In the woman’s left hand, she held a cell phone—which she was using to text her mother just as the baby was lifted from the womb. The anesthesiologist documented the woman’s real-time documentation with a photograph, which he then submitted to The International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia. . . .

February 9, 2011 in Culture, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Iowa Doctor Allowed to Keep Dispensing Abortion Pill Via Videoconferencing

Des Moines Register: Iowa doctor faces no sanction for remote-control abortion system, by Tony Leys:

Iowa Iowa medical regulators have declined to punish a Planned Parenthood doctor for using a controversial long-distance video system to provide abortion pills by remote control.

The Iowa Board of Medicine decision clears the way for the agency to continue using the controversial system.

The system, the first of its kind in the nation, allows a physician in Des Moines to deliver the pills to patients in remote clinics around the state. . . .

January 13, 2011 in Abortion, Medical News, State and Local News, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Study Finds Teens Wary of Sexual Health Information Found on Internet


Exploratory Study Shows Teens More Likely to Turn to Family Members, School or Medical Professionals

Although most teens use the Internet daily, few consider it a main source of information about contraception or abstinence, according to a new qualitative study by Rachel K. Jones of the Guttmacher Institute and Ann E. Biddlecom of the United Nations Population Division. Additionally, in in-depth interviews at three public high schools in New York and Indiana, only a minority of the 58 study participants reported that they got any contraceptive or abstinence information online; those who accessed this information typically did so in response to a specific event (such as a school assignment) or, less commonly, to find the answer to a personal question.

Most of the teens interviewed were wary of sexual health information on the Internet. The teens indicated a distrust of online information because it is often user-generated and could therefore be incorrect. They also noted that they would probably have to sort through an abundance of sexually explicit material to find the factual information they were looking for. Teens were most likely to trust family members (usually parents) for sexual health information; their next most trusted sources were educators, medical professionals and friends. . . .

January 8, 2011 in Contraception, Scholarship and Research, Sexuality, Sexuality Education, Sexually Transmitted Disease, Teenagers and Children, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

State Legislators Hope to Restrict Abortion Pills Prescribed via Internet Videoconferencing

Pill bottle The Washington Post: Abortion pills prescribed via Net targeted, by Sandhya Somashekhar:

Conservative lawmakers in some states are taking aim at a practice that they say could greatly expand the number of women who choose to terminate their pregnancies: abortion pills prescribed over the Internet.

State legislators in Iowa and Nebraska have announced their intention to try to ban telemedicine abortions, which allow women to go to a branch clinic to consult via Internet videoconferencing with a physician located miles away. Then, with the push of a remote control, the doctor can open a drawer in the clinic that contains RU-486, known as the abortion pill. . . .

January 2, 2011 in Abortion, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP), Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Study Examines Effects of Cell-Phone Use During and After Pregnancy on Children's Behavior

TIME: Study: Could Cell-Phone Use in Pregnancy Affect Kids' Behavior?, by Meredith Melnick:

Cell phone
Children exposed to cell phones before and after birth were 50% more likely to have emotional or behavior problems by the age of 7, compared with kids who were not exposed to the phones, according to a new study of 28,745 children. The same authors of the new study reached similar conclusions in a previous study conducted in 2008.

The children in the current study were all enrolled in the Danish National Birth Cohort, a large-scale study of 100,000 Danish children born between 1996 and 2002. Researchers from the School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles, used data from surveys that the mothers of the children filled out; questionnaires included standard tests for emotional or behavior problems in children, as well with hyperactivity, inattention and inability to get along with other kids. . . .

December 7, 2010 in Medical News, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, December 3, 2010

JoAnne Sweeny on Sexting Prosecutions and Teenagers' Constitutional Rights

JoAnne Sweeny (Loyola University New Orleans College of Law) has posted Do Sexting Prosecutions Violate Teenagers' Constitutional Rights? on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

JoAnne Sweeny The media has recently been highlighting a rash of prosecutions of teenagers who engage in “sexting” – sending nude or sexually explicit images of themselves or their peers – under child pornography laws. These prosecutions have led to mass criticism for threatening teens with long prison terms and registering as sex offenders for activities that are perceived to be relatively innocent. Many, if not most, of these sexting teens are legally permitted to engage in sexual activities through their states’ statutory rape laws, which leads to an absurd situation where teens are permitted to engage in sex but not photograph it. This mismatch between different ages of consent leaves sexting prosecutions open to a myriad of constitutional challenges. This article examines the four possible constitutional challenges to sexting prosecutions: freedom of expression, equal protection, right to privacy, and due process. Most of these challenges have already been brought with mixed success. Although the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the issue, as this article shows, teens are likely to succeed on at least some of these claims. For that reason, this article concludes that states should be proactive and create sexting legislation that resolves the conflict between their statutory rape and child pornography laws. These laws should also address non-consensual forwarding of sexually explicit messages.

December 3, 2010 in Scholarship and Research, Sexuality, Teenagers and Children, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Apple Removes Anti-Abortion, Anti-Gay App Apple removes anti-gay app from App Store, by Lance Whitney:

Iphone Apple has removed an iPhone app considered anti-gay following a wave of protests sent through the online petition site

Initially approved and available in the App Store in October, the Manhattan Declaration app was submitted by members of the Manhattan Declaration, a movement launched last year by a number of Christian leaders espousing their condemnation of both gay marriage and abortion rights.

In approving the app, Apple originally gave it a rating of 4+, meaning it had "no objectionable material."

But described by as an application that invites people to join anti-gay and anti-choice campaigns, the Manhattan Declaration app had offered a "survey" with four questions, including "Do you believe in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman?" and "Do you support the right of choice regarding abortion?" Users who responded contrary to the beliefs of the group received a message at the end informing them that they answered 0 out of 4 questions correct. . . .

December 2, 2010 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Culture, Religion, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Sexuality, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, November 20, 2010 - Real or Hoax?

New York Daily News: Couple insists abortion-by-vote website is not a pro-life hoax, bloggers try to prove it is fake, by Meena Hartenstein:

Alisha Arnold is 16 weeks pregnant – but whether she will give birth to her baby or not is up to you.

Arnold and her husband Pete, both 30, are crowd sourcing the decision to keep their baby or have an abortion, via a poll open to the public on their website

The site has outraged many, and left the Internet buzzing with speculation it is a pro-life hoax.

But the Arnolds, who both work in IT and have been married for over nine years, insist the poll is for real. . . .

November 20, 2010 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Culture, In the Media, Public Opinion, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Women Sharing Abortion Experiences and Support via Twitter

Salon: Tweeting Your Abortion, by Tracy Clark-Flory:

Women are taking to Twitter with a blunt statement of fact: "I had an abortion." In fact, so many are tweeting about their experience that the hashtag "#ihadanabortion" began trending on the site yesterday. It all started with a tweet from @IAmDrTiller: "Time for us to come out. Who's had an abortion? Show antis we're not intimidated by scare tactics. Use: #ihadanabortion." The responses came streaming in: 

I've had an abortion. It was not an easy decision, but it was the best one for me. #ihadanabortion

Almost half my life ago, #ihadanabortion. I'm not sorry. I've never been sorry. I will never be sorry. Just very, very grateful. . . .

November 13, 2010 in Abortion, Culture, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Phone and Computer App Could Be Used to Test for STDs

LA Times: Need an STD test? There soon may be an app for that, by Nathan Olivarez-Giles:

Mobile phones and computers may soon be used as on-the-go testing stations for sexually transmitted diseases and infections, thanks to efforts in Britain to curb the rising rate of herpes, chlamydia and gonorrhea among young people.

A group of doctors and tech experts, known as the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, has put 4 million pounds (about $6.4 million) into developing a system, similar to pregnancy testing kits, that will be able to tell someone within minutes, privately, if they have an STD, according to a report in the Guardian.

The user will be able to put urine or saliva onto a computer chip about the size of a USB drive, which then plugs it into their phone or computer to receive a quick diagnosis of common STDs, the Guardian said. . . .

November 13, 2010 in International, Medical News, Sexually Transmitted Disease, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Study Shows "Abortion" Is Googled More in Conservative Areas

Boston Herald: ‘Abortion’ Googled more in conservative areas, by Renee Nadeau Algarin:

A study by two Children’s Hospital doctors has found that Google searches on “abortion” rise in areas with more conservative abortion policies or where the procedure is less available.

Dr. Ben Reis and Dr. John Brownstein of Children’s Hospital Boston Infomatics Program reviewed the abortion rates and policies in 50 states and 37 countries and compared the information against the number of Internet searches for the word “abortion.”

They found more searches in states and countries with more restrictive policies or less access to abortion and lower abortion rates. . . .

August 25, 2010 in Abortion, Culture, Scholarship and Research, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Researchers Blame Facebook for Rise in Syphilis in UK

The Huffington Post: Facebook Blamed For Rise In Syphilis, by Bianca Bosker:

British flag According to a report published in a slew of publications--including the Telegraph, Sun, and Daily Mail--British health experts have linked Facebook to a rise in syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease, in the UK.

The Telegraph explains the NHS' findings:

The virus has increased fourfold in Sunderland, Durham and Teesside, the areas of Britain where Facebook is most popular, because it has given people a new way to meet multiple partners for casual sexual encounters.

Professor Peter Kelly, director of public health in Teesside, said staff had found a link between social networking sites and the rise in cases, especially among young women.

'I don't get the names of people affected, just figures. And I saw that several of the people had met sexual partners through these sites,' Professor Kelly said. 'Social networking sites are making it easier for people to meet up for casual sex. There is a rise in syphilis because people are having more sexual partners than 20 years ago and often do not use condoms.' . . . 

March 31, 2010 in Culture, International, Sexually Transmitted Disease, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Virginity Sold to Strangers Online

Slate Magazine (Double X): How Much is Virginity Worth?, by Claire Gordon:

Dollars Last week, a 19-year-old New Zealand student, known only as Unigirl, sold her virginity to a stranger for $32,000. Her online ad was viewed by 30,000 people and received over 1,200 offers. Thanks to the Internet, women like Unigirl are putting their sexual initiation up for sale in the very public marketplace. Though these auctions have a new global reach, the pricing of virginity is an ancient human practice—according to the book of Deuteronomy, a girl’s virginity is worth 50 shekels, paid to her father. In today’s economy, how much is a woman’s virginity worth?

At least $10,000 if the woman is reasonably attractive and under 25. The exact price ultimately depends on the “quality” of the virginity: how young and hot the virgin is. Models can fetch over $1 million. . . . .

February 12, 2010 in Culture, Sexuality, Web/Tech, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Report Examines Some Effects of Health Reform on Reproductive Service Providers

Guttmacher Institute news release: Health Reform Encounters Two Long-Standing Challenges: Confidentiality and Health Information Technology:

Guttmacher_inst New Policy Analyses Examine How Sexual and Reproductive Health Providers Might Be Affected
Two new analyses in the Fall 2009 issue of the Guttmacher Policy Review examine how health care reform might affect medical providers—in particular those who provide sexual and reproductive health services—in two important and interrelated areas: confidentiality of services and health information technology.

Confidentiality of Services

Widely used health insurance billing and claims procedures unintentionally but routinely violate basic confidentiality for anyone enrolled as a dependent on someone else’s policy, such as spouses, teens and young adult children of primary policyholders, according to “Unintended Consequences: How Insurance Processes Inadvertently Abrogate Patient Confidentiality,” by Rachel Benson Gold. In particular, the practice of sending “explanation of benefits” forms to a policyholder violates confidentiality for anyone enrolled as a dependent on their policy. This may be especially acute for individuals seeking sensitive services, such as sexual and reproductive health care. . . . 

Health Information Technology

Because of its potential both to improve care and to moderate costs, health information technology features prominently in both current health care reform efforts and the 2009 stimulus bill. But family planning providers seeking to use significant new financial incentives face a host of challenges, including confidentiality issues and difficulties tailoring new technologies—such as electronic health records—to meet the requirements of public health programs like Title X, according to “Family Planning Centers and the Adoption of Health Information Technology,” by Adam Sonfield. . . .

December 7, 2009 in Abortion, Contraception, Medical News, Teenagers and Children, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Moms Increasingly Rely on iPhone

Slate Magazine: Mother's Little Helper, by Michael Agger:

The iPhone is the ultimate kid-pacification device

Iphone Move over, patio man. My new favorite demographic is the iPhone mom. A recent survey from a mobile-advertising company says that iPhone moms make up 25 percent of iPhone users and rely on their phone for such things as: scheduling! Store locating! Downloading coupons! All very nice, but the key stat is that 59 percent of these moms let their children use the phone. That leaves me wondering what's up with the other 41 percent. The iPhone is the ultimate kid-pacification device.

The iPhone moms (and dads) walk a fine line when they hand over their phone. (In mobile-scholarship circles, this behavior is known as the "pass-back.") Typically, iPhone parents are the kind who limit TV and "screen time" and would cringe at buying a Nintendo DS for a 4-year-old. This is the wooden-toy crowd, who plan to sign up Sophie for Suzuki any day now. Yet, they—OK, me—really love their iPhones. So sleek, so intuitive—and isn't it incredible that even a 1-year-old can figure out how to use it? . . . .

November 30, 2009 in Current Affairs, Parenthood, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)