Despite plenty of scientific evidence to contradict their beliefs, the anti-vaxxer movement seems to have been gaining steam as of late, with more and more people becoming skeptical about the health risks associated with certain vaccines. At the same time, the teenage children of anti-vaxxers are growing up and trying to find a way to vaccinate themselves without parental consent, flocking to the internet for advice.
The spread of misinformation has become of serious concern to many around the world. So much so that GoFundMe, a popular crowdfunding website, has decided it will no longer allow anti-vaxxers to use their platform to raise money for this continued spread, according to the Washington Post.
“Campaigns raising money to promote misinformation about vaccines violate GoFundMe’s terms of service and will be removed from the platform,” GoFundMe spokesperson Bobby Whithorne said in a statement, adding that “the company is conducting a thorough review and will remove any campaigns currently on the platform.”
Even so, according to Whithorne, those campaigns are relatively rare on GoFundMe, and since announcing the ban, they have found just 10 campaigns to pull.
GoFundMe is just the latest in a string of social media sites that has decided it no longer wants to be associated with anti-vaccination propaganda. There are a number of these websites that have jumped on board.
Other sites that are also cracking down on anti-vaxxer talk are Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. The push to be factually correct comes originally from the American Medical Association, who want to ensure that social media users have access to accurate information regarding vaccines.
— Andy Fales (@AndyFales) March 25, 2019
The sites have announced they are banning ads, certain hashtags, and memes that spread misinformation, among other adjustments to their policies regarding the anti-vaxxer movement.
Amazon is the latest site to comply, announcing they will also be removing books that promote anti-vaxxer beliefs or other misinformation.
Some advocates for the anti-vaxxer movement have argued that not being allowed to share their views over social media is a violation of their First Amendment rights. But the concern about public health is of much greater import to the American Medical Association.
The crackdown on anti-vaxxers and their misinformation comes after a major measles outbreak across the United States, with more than 120 cases reported by mid-February, according to Vox. Many of those cases were reported in anti-vaxxer hotspots, such as Washington state, where more than half the cases originated.
In that time, anti-vaxxers took to the internet to ask advice on how to protect their children from the measles, eschewing the one useful piece of advice, which was to vaccinate their little ones. Per a previous report by The Inquisitr, one anti-vaxxer mother probably got much more than she bargained for with the sarcastic advice.
Unfortunately, the sudden measles outbreak doesn’t appear to have altered any anti-vaxxer beliefs, which has led to the sudden announcement by social media sites that they won’t be allowing the content onto their pages anymore in an effort to stem the growing movement.