WeeklyTech #148

Why the (mis)labeling of pregnancy resource centers on Yelp needs to be corrected

Yelp announced last week that, in light of the historic Dobbs v. Jackson Whole Woman’s Health case at the U.S. Supreme Court and the continued push by many in society for greater access to abortion services, they would begin to recategorize crisis pregnancy centers (also known as pregnancy resource centers) and other faith-based clinics on their platforms to distinguish them from abortion clinics. They also have placed user warnings on these listings, indicating that crisis pregnancy centers “typically provide limited medical services and may not have licensed medical professionals onsite,” regardless of the reality of what these clinics might offer or the qualifications of those onsite. This announcement was framed in light of Yelp’s ongoing commitment to support “access to reproductive healthcare for our employees, underserved communities, and our users,” as vice president of User Operations, Noorie Malik, wrote.

This relabeling and the user warnings being applied to pregnancy care and resource centers by Yelp comes on the heels of other technology companies such as Alphabet’s Google being pressured by Congressional Democrats to limit the appearance of pregnancy resource centers in certain abortion-related search terms and results. In addition, there are calls to delete location data for those visiting abortion clinics, especially in states where abortion services may be severely limited due to the number of pro-life laws taking affect after Dobbs. In response to the push by Congressional Democrats in June, a number of Republican attorneys general sent a letter in July warning Google not to censor or suppress information about these clinics in search or map results. On Aug. 25, Google announced that it would alter how abortion clinics and pregnancy care center appear in search results, ads, and on maps.

The Rundown

Twitter’s security alarm – Scott Rosenberg and Sam Sabin | Axios

Twitter security is a huge mess, its former security boss charged in a whistleblower complaint — but huge security messes are all too common in the online world.

Adopt a Different Platform-Growth Strategy – Katie Blackburn | The Gospel Coalition

We hear the message loud and clear, the words that have a cottage industry built around them now: if you want to do something with your life—write, speak, preach, publish, sell, influence—you have to build your platform. The pressure to grow “large, fast, and famous,” as veteran pastor Zac Eswine puts it, comes from all sides, even from within the church.

California bans the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035 – Emma Newburger | CNBC

California, the country’s most populous state and the center of U.S. car culture, is banning the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles starting in 2035, marking a historic step in the state’s battle against climate change.

Social Media, Common Carriage, and the First Amendment – Daniel Lyons and Richard A. Epstein | AEI

AEI recently published a thought-provoking report by Professor Richard A. Epstein addressing censorship of conservative viewpoints online.

Google to clearly label U.S. medical facilities that provide abortion – Leroy Leo and Arun Kuyyor | Reuters

Google will clearly label medical facilities in the United States that provide abortions in its search results and in Google Maps to avoid confusing them with anti-abortion centers, its top executive informed lawmakers on Thursday.

This company is about to grow new organs in a person for the first time – Jessica Hamzelou | MIT

In the coming weeks, a volunteer in Boston, Massachusetts, will be the first to trial a new treatment that could end up creating a second liver in their body.