GoFundMe has joined an increasing number of social media companies that have sought to prevent the spread of misinformation.
Increased efforts by technology giants, such as Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube, are coming during a relentless anti-vaccination movement, they are talking about "customers of crap" and worries about measles outbreaks across the country. It also comes when the American Medical Association, the most prominent national medical organization, has called for social media platforms to provide users with access to accurate information on vaccines.
Amazon confirmed this week that he himself took measures and pulled books from his online marketplace, revealing false information on autism and vaccines.
Then came Instagram's announcement.
And now GoFundMe does the same.
GoFundMe spokeswoman Bobby Whithorne told Daily Beast in a statement that "campaigns that raise money to promote wrong information on vaccines are violating GoFundMe Terms of Service and will be removed from the platform." He said that the company "is performing a thorough review and will remove all campaigns currently on the platform."
But Whithorne said on the news website that these mass campaigns are "extremely rare" and that until now the company has discovered less than ten.
Experts say that companies, in particular the social media platforms, are in charge of new and demanding responsibilities, as they learn to move the border between business and play the role of the censor at a time when misleading claims about health and science can have a profound impact on public health. At the same time, some anti-vaccination advocates suggest that repression violates the rights of the first amendment, limits alternative views, and gives Big Pharma an advantage. (Larry Cook, a prominent advocate, did not immediately respond to a request for comments on the Washington Post on Changes.)
Nevertheless, Facebook has announced that it prohibits certain content and ads containing incorrect information about vaccines. , according to news reports. Instagram told Hill this week that he is planning to start blocking tags associated with "known health-related disinformation, including #avcinescauseautism, #vaccinesarepoison and #vaccinescauseids."
Last week, James Madara, Executive Vice President and Executive Director of AMA, sent a letter to Amazon, Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube leaders for guidance and asked them for help.
Madara said that doctors are "worried about the reports of anti-cancer messages and ads targeted at parents seeking information about the vaccine on your platforms."
"As doctors, we are concerned that the dissemination of this kind of health information will undermine reliable science, further reduce vaccination and persuade people to take medical decisions that could trigger the spread of easily preventable diseases," he wrote. "With public health and social media, serving as a leading source of information for American people, we urge you to do your part to ensure that users have access to scientifically valid vaccination information so that they can make informed choices about the health of their families.
"We are also urging you to publish your plans to ensure that users have access to accurate, timely, scientifically based information on vaccines," Madara said.
The vaccine movement was partly backed up by fraudulent 1998 studies to show the link between autism and the preservative used in vaccines – despite the fact that it was discredited and despite the fact that many other studies provided convincing evidence, that vaccination does not cause autism.
The controversial debate is at the heart of popular social media platforms, where anti-vaxons spread the wrong information, and medical professionals are at risk of attempting to combat them.
Lena H. Sun of Washington Post reported last week that "pediatricians and other doctors increasingly come under the digital attack of a global movement that spreads wrong information about vaccines."
"Online attacks on people who speak for the benefit of vaccines are becoming more and more frequent, say doctors and vaccine advocates. Social media websites are the main platform for misleading claims against the vaccination campaign. Although anti-vaccine activists are a small minority, social media seems to be the majority. "
Art Caplan, a professor of bioethics and head of the Department of Medical Ethics at the School of Medicine at the University of New York, previously said that these companies can not allow themselves to be "vehicles for misinformation".
"In any case, you can post things that are contrary to vaccination – individuals can speak their thoughts. But when you have websites that represent false information, disclosed information, or similarly, books proclaiming false medicines, I think there is an application for someone in censorship , "said Caplan, who was co-author of the 2017" Aware of the dangers of the presence of social media in anti-vaccination groups ". Caplan said that it is important for businesses to exclude such wrong information, "because the power of social media, especially in the vaccine space, is so powerful that it causes fear of the vaccine leading to epidemics that threaten people."