Pinterest blocks searches on vaccinations to stop the spread of misinformation


    LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Pinterest, best know for inspiring many ideas for users, from party themes to arts and crafts, has begun to block searches relating to vaccinations.

    The website confirmed the policy after being reported in the Wall Street Journal.

    Searches for vaccinations and vaccine-related posts fall under the company's "health misinformation guideline".

    Pinterest started blocking certain vaccine and cancer-related searches last year to stop the spread of harmful misinformation on the topic.


    Users of the service can still save vaccine information to their boards, but the search engine will not save misinformation about vaccines.

    This proactive step to attempt to eliminate misinformation on vaccines comes after an outbreak of measles in the Pacific Northwest that affected dozens of children.

    Just last week, officials in southern Washington state confirmed 53 cases of measles, a disease which is preventable through the use of a vaccine, but the number of those immunized against it has fallen.

    Measles is preventable by means of vaccine and without it, can be a deadly disease, especially for children.

    Pinterest's new guidelines on health-related searches rely on guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC to help determine if a post violates its rule of prohibiting "advice where they may be immediate and detrimental effects on a Pinner's health or on public safety."

    Vaccines are universally backed by by WHO and the CDC, which also offers an immunization schedule for parents of children yet to get vaccinated.

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