Why women are being encouraged to delete Facebook as private messages from the platform were allegedly used in abortion trial

Women are encouraged to delete Facebook after a teenager's private messages with her mother were reportedly released by the platform

Delete Facebook
(Image credit: Aleksandr Zubkov / Getty Images)

#DeleteFacebook is currently trending on a number of social media platforms as women are encouraged to delete their accounts following a shocking claim in a recent legal case in Nebraska.

"Every woman should delete Facebook right now. #DeleteFacebook," read one of the 55.4k tweets with the trending hashtag #DeleteFacebook attached. "#DeleteFacebook If you needed any more reason to hate Zuckerberg. This is a good place to start," read another. 

But why is this happening, and why is 'delete Facebook' trending?

A recent court case in Nebraska has alleged that private Facebook messages between a teenager and her mother have been used as evidence in a court case concerning an illegal abortion. In June, before Roe v Wade was officially overturned Nebraska police charged a woman and her mother for obtaining and using illegal abortion pills while around six months pregnant. According to the Lincoln Journal Star (opens in new tab), the police then found evidence from private Facebook messages that supported this claim.

"A week after the two were charged, the detective served a search warrant on Facebook, to get access to their accounts. He found messages between them suggesting [the mother] had obtained abortion pills for her daughter and gave her instructions on how to take them," claimed the report.

This had led to concern from women who are worried that the social media platform will use their private information from Facebook in similar trials concerning women's reproductive rights. 

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"Ladies, DO NOT POST PERSONAL INFORMATION ON ANY SOCIAL MEDIA. DO NOT USE APPS TO TRACK YOUR MENSTRUAL CYCLE OR ANYTHING ELSE PERSONAL. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHO HAS ACCESS TO THE INFORMATION. THOSE APP COMPANIES SELL YOUR DATA. FREE APPS ARE NOT FREE!! #DeleteFacebook," said one passionate Twitter user who feared for the precedent that this case could set.

"And just when I thought Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook couldn't go any lower, they gave the Nebraska Police a teen's information and DMs just so they can prosecute her for getting an abortion! Sane woman should leave Facebook if they haven't already done so! #DeleteFacebook," said another post on Twitter. 

"If you are a woman of childbearing years do not post anything on Facebook. This is scary as hell. Heck if you are a woman or anyone who supports women's rights delete FB #DeleteFacebook," said yet another tweet. 

Delete Facebook

(Image credit: STR / Contributor / Getty Images)

Facebook has made a statement following the claim denying any wrongdoing, reporting that the messages they handed over for the investigation did not mention abortion at all, only the disposal of the fetus by the mother and daughter.

"Much of the reporting about Meta’s role in a criminal case against a mother and daughter in Nebraska is plain wrong. We want to take the opportunity to set the record straight," read the report from the Meta Newsroom.

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The statement continued to say, "We received valid legal warrants from local law enforcement on June 7, before the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The warrants did not mention abortion at all." 

"Court documents indicate that police were at that time investigating the alleged illegal burning and burial of a stillborn infant. The warrants were accompanied by non-disclosure orders, which prevented us from sharing information about them."

Facebook then concluded the statement by saying, "The orders have now been lifted," which explains why they have been able to now explain their side. 

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.