After the measles outbreak in the US, the powerful social media rulers Facebook and YouTube have been warned as well as investigated for the spreading of vaccine-related half-truths. It has been found that there is another huge platform that is offering some unauthentic anti-vaccination content to the populace in search of information. Amazon is the other platform but they have completely denied it by explaining their content guidelines page that clearly mentions no sale of pornography or other inappropriate contents. Recently, a search for vaccine on Amazon showed pages filled with anti-vaccination contents.
The company had 18 books and movies displayed on the site out of which 15 were related to anti-vaccination content; for example, “Vaccines on Trial: Truth and Consequences of Mandatory Shots” by Pierre St. Clair which is free for the Kindle Unlimited subscribers. The movies like We Don’t Vaccinate! and Shoot ‘Em Up: The Truth About Vaccines have raised fingers at the market rulers over the spread of such misinformation. The most disturbing were the contents provided in some of its best sellers like The Vaccine-Friendly Plan: Dr. Paul’s Safe and Effective Approach to Immunity and Health — from Pregnancy Through Your Child’s Teen Years and Miller’s Review of Critical Vaccine Studies: 400 Important Scientific Papers Summarized for Parents and Researchers, which were generally read by new parents.
Amazon has been offering Prime membership for anti-vaccination-related movies like VAXXED: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe. The company has retracted from disclosing information whether it was paid for promoting ads, books, or movies on anti-vaccination. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Dr. Paul Offit, Amazon needs to be held responsible for anti-vaccination proponents claim. The other companies like YouTube, Google, and Facebook are also being scrutinized for surfing anti-vaccination contents that are causing a decline in the vaccination rates in turn reversing the vaccine-preventable diseases to progress. The algorithms that power social media platforms or market retailers like Amazon possess are not designed to differentiate valid or invalid information and thus, it is for these platforms to take care of providing the truth to the growing public health catastrophe. Pinterest has already banned any search on a vaccine to be on a safer side and the others are working on coming up with additional changes. According to CDC, around 159 measles cases had been affirmed in 10 states of the US and this outbreak has been found to affect the unvaccinated crowd, which is concerning the Health Commission.