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Facebook removes abortion page for 'promoting drug use'

The page belonging to a Dutch women's group was taken down for describing how to get abortion pills in places where they're banned.

Getty Images/Canopy

Facebook has long been plagued with problems related to content monitoring. This week, it added one more to the list.

The social media giant has removed Women on Web, a page that included information on how to get abortion pills in places they're prohibited, according to a Facebook post on Thursday by its affiliated group, Women on Waves.

Facebook attributed the decision to its policy against "promotion or encouragement of drug use," reported The Guardian. According to Facebook's Community Standards, the social network bars attempts to "purchase, sell or trade prescription drugs, marijuana, firearms or ammunition."

The Netherlands-based Women on Web publishes "news, scientific information and the protocols of the World Health Organisation," according to Women on Waves, which added that it expects Facebook to "[undo] this action soon enough, as access to information is a human right."

This is not the first time that Facebook's decisions to keep or remove posts have drawn public attention. In 2016, the company found itself in the global spotlight when it removed from the Norwegian prime minister's page the iconic Vietnam War photo of a naked girl fleeing a napalm attack.

Although CEO Mark Zuckerberg had long denied that Facebook has responsibilities similar to those of a media company, Facebook has changed its tune. Over the past several months, the company has taken on the responsibility of helping weed out fake news stories from its site. Earlier this month, the company announced plans to hire 3,000 content reviewers to ensure that live videos posted on its site comply with its standards. This follows a number of livestreams of violence acts and killings.

Facebook did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.

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