It seems tech companies all over are taking a stance against so-called anti-vax content, and some of the biggest companies in the world have joined the fight.
As previously reported by TechCrunch, YouTube began to demonetize channels and videos that promoted anti-vaccination beliefs — ads run before and during monetized content uploaded to the platform. Similarly, Pinterest now blocks posts about vaccines from appearing as results when using the platform’s search functionality. Retail and web giant Amazon has also taken a similar stance when it comes to some of the products available on their storefront.
Per a recent report by The New York Times, Amazon has pulled two books from their storefront. The two books, Healing the Symptoms Known as Autism, and Fight Autism and Win, are no longer available for purchase as of Wednesday, March 13. Amazon declined to explain why these books were removed — multiple outlets speculate that the books’ pseudoscientific content prompted their recent ban — and would not comment as to whether similar products would be removed from the storefront down the line.
That being said, it seems several books with questionable content are still available for purchase. A recent report from Wired notes that Amazon is full of books with titles that offer up unproven and potentially dangerous methods to treat autism, including “sex, yoga, camel milk, electroconvulsive therapy and veganism.”
Amazon has removed the online listings for 2 books that claim to contain cures for autism https://t.co/ugotWJWmNL— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 13, 2019
As noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are no medications or remedies that can cure autism, or treat its primary symptoms. That being said, the institute does not that some medications can be used to improve the lives of those with autism, explaining that medication can be used to “manage high energy levels, inability to focus, depression, or seizures.”
Unfortunately, the CDC also details how many parents have used potentially dangerous and untested forms of treatment.
“Current research shows that as many as one third of parents of children with an ASD may have tried complementary or alternative medicine treatments, and up to 10% may be using a potentially dangerous treatment,” the CDC notes. “Before starting such a treatment, check it out carefully, and talk to your child’s doctor.”
As The New York Times explains, Healing the Symptoms Known as Autism detailed a rather dangerous concoction, and recommended that children with autism drink and wash themselves with chlorine dioxide. Less than 10 years ago, the Food and Drug Administration described chlorine dioxide as “a potent bleach used for stripping textiles and industrial water treatment,” explaining that it “can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and symptoms of severe dehydration.”