In a bid to stop the spread of misinformation surrounding vaccines, Pinterest took the approach last year to stop showing results for vaccine-related searches. However, now, the social platform will start to direct users searching for vaccine information to public health organisations.
Many social platforms have been under pressure to control the spread of misinformation, particularly around health topics. Pinterest is now releasing its amended policy as a way to reduce the level of misinformation shared on its platform.
When users search for key terms such as vaccine safety and measles on Pinterest, the site will provide search results from central public health bodies such as the Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.
Furthermore, Pinterest said they would remove the accounts that spread health misinformation to prevent it from spreading from the social platform. Other aspects of the new policy include not showing health misinformation adverts or allowing comments or recommendations on the pages of vaccine searches.
Why is managing health misinformation so important?
The policies implemented by Pinterest come after the World Health Organization said that anti-vaccine views were one of the top ten global health threats in 2019. Furthermore, social media is widely used as a way to spread anti-vaccine sentiment. Consequently, this may be harming the immunisation rates in several countries.
Pinterest is not the only platform to crack down on health misinformation; YouTube has also confirmed that they will also stop serving ads to channels that promote anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. Facebook has also said they will reduce the distribution of vaccine misinformation. Finally, Instagram has also said they would block hashtags that are used to spread ‘verifiably false’ vaccine information.