Fast Company tries to silence anti-abortion talk by calling it ‘misinformation’

June 22, 2022

By Tim Worstall

According to Fast Company, the correct reaction to the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade is that people must be stopped from saying nasty things about abortion online. Of course, they say that it’s necessary to stop “misinformation,” but that’s just their modern code word for things they’d prefer that people didn’t say.

Ahead of the Supreme Court’s Roe decision, social media is rife with anti-abortion misinformation

Social media is, of course, just we the people having our say. But apparently, we shouldn’t be allowed to do that:

On May 2, just hours before Politico published a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, the anti-abortion group Focus on the Family released a series of alarmist ads on Facebook and Instagram. They contain assorted motifs from a now-familiar playbook of anti-abortion canon: In one, the words “I’M ALIVE” accompany a bright-eyed infant’s photographed image; in another, an exhortation to “help a vulnerable mom choose LIFE!” is stamped over a baby’s feet.

It’s entirely possible to disagree with what’s being said there. But the insistence is that people should not be allowed to say it. Which does seem to be rather an imposition on those rights to free speech. Which does not, it perhaps needs to be said again, insist that whatever people say be either true or something generally agreed with. 

The ads violate Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta’s policy against misinformation in advertisements

But who is defining what is information, misinformation and simple exercise of that free speech right – even the right to be wrong? If we pass that definition right along to the standard liberal and or progressive cohorts then we’ve just – effectively – banned anything that contradicts that liberal and or progressive canon. This is why they’re arguing this way of course but also why we should not allow them to do so.

….just one exhibit in a seemingly endless stream of abortion disinformation content… 

Not really. The thing is that a large number of Americans – a majority in some places, a minority in others – disagree that abortion is simply a medical procedure with no other implications. They might be right, they might be wrong, as is also true of those on the other side. But to label one set of arguments misinformation that may not be propagated is to commit that logical sin of begging the question. To assume the answer that first must be proven. And, also, obviously, to deny people the right to speak as they wish.

Fast Company usually works in the high-tech world and the connections within it to business. It gains some 6 million visits a month as it does so. It’s influential in the tech and business world.

This is why it really should grasp those basic points about what may be said on social media. Once someone gets to define what is misinformation that may not be said then that very basic idea of free speech has gone. What really confuses us is why a media outlet cannot grasp that of course the media will be the first hit by any such rules.


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