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August 28, 2019

Pinterest takes initiative in stopping the spread of medical, vaccine misinformation

The social media platform will only provide info from reliable health sources for certain searches

Prevention Vaccines
vaccine misinformation pinterest Bailey King/Philly Voice

Pinterest's new look when searching for "vaccine safety."

Many social media platforms have bolstered their efforts to combat medical misinformation, especially pertaining to vaccines.

On Wednesday, Pinterest announced that it aims to bring misinformation about vaccines to a halt by providing only search results from bonafide health organizations.

The Associated Press reports that searches including terms like “measles” and “vaccine” will only bring up results from trusted sources like the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others.

RELATED READ: Instagram busted for peddling medical misinformation account to new users

Pinterest’s announcement states:

Health misinformation has the potential to impact public health, regardless of what service it’s found on. Allowing this content to spread through Pinterest’s search results is not in line with enforcing our community guidelines. That’s why we’re limiting search results to internationally recognized health organizations.  

Pinterest explained that while the effort us starting with vaccines, it will keep an evolving list of terms for which medical misinformation is blocked, as well as content from accounts which spread misinformation.

Experts believe that medical misinformation has, and will, spread far and fast on social media, which is why it is truly a public health issue to bring it to a halt.

The WHO fully backs Pinterest’s policy updated and encouraged other social media companies to follow suit, according to the Associated Press.

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