Facebook is under pressure to curb the rise of groups against vaccines that spread false information about the dangers of life-saving vaccines while driving out unfounded alternative treatments such as high doses of vitamin C.
So-called "anti-Vaxxer" "are on Facebook in closed groups, where the members must be approved in advance. By refusing access to others, they can satisfy undisguised misinformation without prompting.
The groups are big and demanding. The compulsory vaccination has more than 1
Health experts call on Facebook to do more against these echo chambers. Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics, said: "Facebook should prioritize dealing with the threat to human health by sharing falsehood and false information. This is not just self-harm, it's community damage.
Swanson recently met with Facebook strategists and expressed their concerns. "Parents deserve the truth. Serving them with something that is not true will likely raise their fears and fears and potentially change the intake of vaccines, which is dangerous, "she said.
Fiona O'Leary, an autism activist and anti-pseudo activist, called on Facebook to block anti-vaccine groups. "If they do not want to close closed groups, I'd like to see a Facebook watchdog who removes misinformation that harms children," she said.
The threat posed by the Facebook groups has been greatly facilitated by the World Health Organization (WHO), which lists "vaccine reluctance" – the reluctance to vaccinate – as one of the top 10 global health threats in 2019. WHO points to a global increase in measles by 30%, a highly contagious disease that can lead to deafness. Encephalitis, pneumonia and death, especially in children.
Last month, Washington State declared a state of emergency after 48 people had measles. Most of the infected were not vaccinated and under 10 years old.
Dr. Noni MacDonald, a professor of pediatrics at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, has worked as a WHO immunization expert and asked why Facebook was not hampered by strict controls against disinformation given to pharmaceutical companies. "We do not allow big pharmaceutical companies, big food companies or big radio companies to do that – why should we let this happen in this place?"
She added, "If a drug company puts a drug into the formal media, they can not tell you anything wrong or they're being sued, why is that different, why is that allowed?"
As concerns about measles outbreaks in In the US, the Facebook groups are increasingly focusing on vaccinations and the Guardian gained access to some groups and found that they were associated with pseudoscience.
One group, Vitamin C and Orthomolecular Medicine for Optimal Health, explains to users that it is not an anti-Vax group. Their leader, Katie Gironda, says, "This group needs to stay neutral on vaccines."
However, anyone admitted to this closed group of approximately 49,000 registered members will find sufficient material to challenge the safety of vaccines. You will also find recommendations for alternative remedies that are falsely claimed to protect against disease.
Gironda is listed on LinkedIn as the CEO of a Colorado-based online business selling high-dose Vitamin C. The members of their closed group are invited to "buy" now "- with one click they are directly connected with their company Revitalize Wellness.
The site sells vitamin C powder in bulk, with customers being asked to give children between two and three grams a day, while the recommended daily allowance is 15 mg. Twenty-four pound bags of powder cost 432 dollars.
Revitalize Wellness has a disclaimer stating that its products are "not designed to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease". In an interview with members of their closed Facebook group, Gironda gives the opposite advice:
"Vitamin C has an amazing record in fighting the same vaccines for which vaccines were made," she writes.
In another post she says, "I think the pros outweigh the vaccines … Greed made them a weapon. Until they are safe and not driven by money, I would avoid all vaccines.
Gironda is also listed as the administrator of a separate Facebook group called Vitamin C against vaccine damage. She welcomed new members of the group with the following statement: "Science and experience with the masses of people have proven that vaccines can harm the body … Vitamin C is the safest and most effective way to protect those who are required to do so protect vaccinated.
After the Guardian contacted Gironda, the status of the Vitamin C group for vaccine damage changed from closed to secret. This embedded the group into an even more veiled category that completely hides the group from the view of nonmembers by removing them from the Facebook searches.
In discussions about closed groups, members often voice false information that is amplified by their peers. In January, a woman wrote that she lived "near this great measles outbreak." She asked colleagues, "What should I do for my children to better protect them?"
Another member gave this advice: "Let Vitamin A be high. The susceptibility to measles increases in people with low vitamin A levels. "[19659003ImDezemberschriebeineMutterinKanadaaneinederGruppenundbezeichnetesichselbstals„ersteMuttermiteiner6MonatealtenTochterdievölligfreivonVaxistMeineTochteristkrankichbinsowütendundbesorgtIchwarimmerzuversichtlichinmeinerEntscheidungnichtvaxzuseinaberichmachemirSorgenwassievielleichtkontaktierthätte[sic].
A colleague wrote back: "Baby Needs Vitamin C IV."
David Grimes, a physicist who specializes in combating counterfeit science, said vitamin C would "absolutely not" protect against measles , "Vitamin C is not for immunization."
Grimes said he has repeatedly reported anti-vaccine groups to Facebook, but with no result. "Facebook has a moral responsibility to do something – this misinformation can kill children."
The Guardian told Gironda that misinformation about vaccines could endanger children's lives and that vitamin C is not an effective alternative. In an e-mail, she said, "Revitalize Wellness represents vaccines neutrally. We strive to maintain this neutral attitude in our Facebook group.
She said she was a supporter of "Vitamin C Pioneers," citing Dr. Catherine. Linus Pauling, dr. Frederick Klenner, dr. Robert F. Cathcart, dr. Irwin Stone and dr. Thomas Levy. She added, "There will always be controversy over the effectiveness of vitamin C."
In the United States, Masles was declared outlawed in 2000 thanks to the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. Since then, the deceitful successes of discredited British physician Andrew Wakefield have raised doubts about many parents regarding a connection between MMR and autism – despite numerous studies that have exposed the compound.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (19659003) CDC) has warned that there are now approximately 100,000 American children under the age of two who are completely unvaccinated – a fourfold increase over 2001.
Paradoxically, Facebook is pushing for pressure to scrub his platform for inaccurate information, as the company's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, and his wife Priscilla Chan actively fund $ 3 billion to "cure all diseases." An important element of their mission is the development of new vaccines.
Facebook is increasingly committed to combating misinformation that "causes harm in reality". Despite the health risks, vaccine propaganda is currently not treated as a violation of its content rules.
The Guardian asked Facebook to respond to the spread of vaccine misinformation on its platform, but the company did not respond.  Facebook not only housed many closed vaccination groups, but also thousands of advertising dollars from those who specifically targeted parents, often with frightening false messages that should undermine confidence in vaccines. Stop Mandatory Vaccination promoted an ad that was so extreme that it was censored by the British Advertising Standards Association (ASA).
The group later informed ASA that it "addressed interested users" in Parenting "with the intention of" worrying parents before deciding to vaccinate their children ".
Facebook also accepted advertising revenue from Vax Truther, Anti-Vaxxer, Vaccines Revealed and Michigan for Vaccine Choice, including