Pinterest Limits Sources of Vaccine Content

From the WebMD Archives

Aug. 29, 2019 -- From now on, if you do vaccine-related searches on Pinterest, you'll only get results from public health organizations.

"We're taking this approach because we believe that showing vaccine misinformation alongside resources from public health experts isn't responsible," Ifeoma Ozoma, the social media company's public policy and social impact manager said in a statement released Wednesday, CNN reported.

"As we continue to tackle health misinformation, we remove it and the accounts that spread it from our service," Ozoma added.

Pinterest will only show results from institutions such as the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization-established Vaccine Safety Net, CNN reported.

The results for such searches won't include recommendations or comments on Pins and won't show ads.

Last year, Pinterest stopped showing vaccine-related search results in order to halt the spread of harmful misinformation, CNN reported.

The new vaccine-related search response is available now in English on its website and its mobile apps, according to the company.

Social media changes could "help us turn the tide" on vaccine misinformation, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told CNN this week.

She and her colleagues were surprised by the influence social media had on vaccines, she added.

"I do think it caught us all a little flat-footed -- how quickly the myths and misinformation spread," Messonnier told CNN.