In brief: Many companies have recently taken a stand against anti-vaccine content on their platforms, and soon popular crowdfunding site Indiegogo will do the same. The platform confirmed that a new policy will require health claims to be backed by scientific evidence.
So far in 2019 major companies like Facebook and YouTube have already implemented new policies to crack down on misinformation about vaccines. Other companies are following suit and, according to Buzzfeed, Indiegogo will soon be banning anti-vaccine projects from their site, too.
The spread of so-called ‘anti-vax’ media is largely to blame for the dramatic increase in outbreaks of highly contagious diseases like measles. The problem has gotten so bad that the World Health Organization listed ‘vaccine hesitancy’ as one of their top ten threats to health in 2019.
In the U.S., measles was declared eliminated in 2000, but the disease is making a comeback as more and more parents are refusing to vaccinate their children over fears that vaccines aren’t safe.
Given this context, any move to limit the spread of anti-vaccine content is a welcome one – including Indiegogo’s upcoming policy. Speaking to Buzzfeed, Indiegogo confirmed that their policy will not solely target anti-vax media, but instead will broadly apply to any project that’s making health claims. Such claims will need to have scientific evidence to back them up.
What constitutes evidence, and who verifies the claims, are yet to be decided. Indiegogo have yet to give any specifics beyond confirmation that they are working on this new policy.
This has all come about after anti-vaccine proponents raised over $85,000 for a documentary repeating the debunked claim that vaccines cause autism. The documentary is not alone on the platform though, as a quick search reveals numerous such ‘documentaries’ have been funded via Indiegogo.