In 2000, the measles disease had been declared “eradicated,” but within the last year, outbreaks have reached a record high since then.
According to the CDC, many continue to vaccinate their children against the disease worldwide, but a lot of communities are holding onto disinformation campaigns claiming that vaccines are dangerous (ant-vaxx campaigns), resulting in hundreds of children left unvaccinated and unprotected.
Once an unvaccinated person is exposed to the disease, often overseas, it will almost assuredly lead to a deadly outbreak; measles is a highly contagious disease and can be deadly among children, especially.
Get Your Shots!
President Trump has been vocal on the matter, telling Americans to “get their shots,” but many are worried about the myth that vaccines are linked to autism. However, public health experts say there is no link.
Yet over the past decade, over half a million children have been left unprotected against measles in Britain, and UNICEF has been making efforts to focus back on immunization.
With all of this coming to light, some tech companies have come to realize that they might be aggravating the problem. Indiegogo, a Crowdfunding site, announced that it would not allow anti-vaccine fundraisers or anything similarly unscientific to use its platform.
This decision arose after the campaign raised $86,543 for a documentary called Vaxxed II. The film was completely based on the false claim that vaccines cause autism.
Indiegogo is doing right by the organization behind it, The People’s Truth, by giving them their cash, minus the site’s 5% fee, but the site is setting up a new policy to keep anything similar from using its services, a company spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.
Though Indiegogo has been attacked by executive directors of the “documentary,” Polly Tommey and Brian Burrowes, for “de-platforming” and “censorship,” Indiegogo never promoted it on its site, said the company spokesperson.
Other tech companies have either already made similar changes in their policy or are planning to shortly. Facebook said it would be removing anti-vaxx adds as well as making it harder for users to find anti-vaxx pages and posts from the Facebook search last month.
Instagram (owned by Facebook) said it would be doing similarly, and YouTube has made such a pledge in the past and reiterated it since all the recent controversy.
Amazon is looking to make changes on their website, possibly removing books that promote the unproven connection between autism and vaccines as well as other documentaries. Finally, GoFundMe has banned anti-vaxxers from using their platform to campaign.