In Nebraska, Facebook sends the private messages of a young girl suspected of illegal abortion to the police

Alexander Boero

August 12, 2022 at 1:20 p.m.


Facebook URL © ©️ Mr. Tempter /

© Mr. Tempter /

Facebook delivered to the police the private exchanges of a teenager who would have had an abortion after the legal deadline. Internet users are standing up against this dark affair, in support of the young woman.

If you’ve had the opportunity to hang out in recent days on social networks, and more specifically on the master of hashtags, Twitter, then you may have seen the emergence of a #DeleteFacebook, translate “Delete Facebook”, launched from the States States, with an echo as far as Europe and France. The group Meta, Facebook’s parent company, is accused of having provided the police with private conversations of one of its members to carry out an investigation after an alleged illegal abortion.

The private data of the two women in question transmitted to the police by Facebook

The investigation carried out by the Nebraska police concerns Celeste Burgess, a 17-year-old teenager, and her mother Jessica, both prosecuted because abortion is, in this historically Republican state, prohibited from the age of twenty weeks. after fertilization.

The American authorities accuse the young woman of having ingested a pill beyond this legal deadline. She would then, with the help of her mother, bury the fetus. The facts are taken very seriously, and Celeste is officially prosecuted with the charges ” concealment of another person’s death », « concealment or abandonment of a human body ” as well as ” false declaration “. These sound good to the ears of defenders of the ban on abortion which affects even more widely certain American states. The mother, she must answer the charges of ” concealment of a human body ” and ” abortion performed by an unlicensed physician “.

If the case has taken on such an almost global scale, it is because Facebook has contributed, admittedly under judicial duress, to the search of the telephones and computers of the duo in question. For this, he provided the police with the private exchanges of Celeste and Jessica Burgess.

Did Facebook betray the trust of its users?

The hashtag #DeleteFacebook, which had emerged on the sidelines of the Supreme Court’s decision to leave each state the freedom to legislate on the future of abortion, therefore resurfaced this week. It must be said that Facebook had claimed to ban from its social network all users who post messages aimed at circumventing the law.

On the other hand, and this is what undoubtedly contributes to the new anger of Internet users towards the flagship platform of the Meta group, the latter maintained doubts as to a potential transmission to the police and the judicial authorities of private exchanges between users. But the opening of an investigation against Celeste and Jessica Burgess obviously creates doubt, and activists who support the right to abortion now fear that Facebook’s collaboration with the authorities will become a norm.

Facebook, for its part, affirms through its spokesperson Andy Stone that ” nothing in the valid warrants we received from local law enforcement in early June prior to the Supreme Court ruling mentioned abortion “. But the damage is done, and the reputation of the thumbs-up social network takes (again) a hit.

Source : The Guardian

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