Pinterest Blocks Searches to Avoid Spreading Anti-Vaccination Information
In an effort to clamp down on "harmful misinformation," the search engine on Pinterest -- your Internet home for crafts projects and decorating ideas -- is blocking searches about vaccinations.
The social media platform confirmed the policy after it was first reported Thursday in the Wall Street Journal. A company spokesperson told Good Morning America that searches related to vaccines and vaccination fall under the company's "health misinformation" guideline that was put in place in 2017.
Pinterest, which claims more than 250 million monthly active users, started blocking certain vaccine and cancer-related searches last year because "results were leading to harmful misinformation."
Pinterest users can save vaccine information to their boards, but the search engine does not save misinformation about vaccines.
"We proactively take action on Pins and boards that contain health misinformation, and we encourage anyone who might be encountering this content to report it to our team," the spokesperson said.
The spotlight on Pinterest’s proactive steps to eliminate the spread of vaccine misinformation comes as an outbreak of measles in the Pacific Northwest affects mostly children who have not been immunized. Immunization rates in Washington state, the epicenter of the outbreak, have been dropping in recent years, data shows.