Indiegogo Forbids Anti-Vaccination Campaigns From Raising Money - Is That The Way to Stop Misinformation?

source: Ina Grace

The crowdfunding site Indiegogo joined the steadily increasing club of U.S. tech giants to ban anti-vaxxers from fundraising on its platform, Buzzfeed reported.

Indiegogo said in a statement that it would no longer allow any projects making health claims that lacked scientific back-up, anti-vaccine fundraising campaigns included. It is not clear yet when the new rules would take effect, Indiegogo spokesperson said.

The policy alteration comes soon after the filmmakers of the anti-vaccination movie Vaxxed II: The People's Truth raised $86,543 on the site. Its plot was based on reportedly false claims that vaccines cause autism.

Vaxxed II The People's Truth is a sequel to the widely-discussed anti-vaxxer movie Vaxxed. Earlier this year, all the controversies around the film made Amazon pull it from its Prime Video service.

The filmmakers would still receive the funds minus the 5% fee for the site, confirmed Indiegogo highlighting that the new policy was not in force back then. 

Indiegogo is not the first crowd-funding site to prevent anti-vaxxers from raising funds. Earlier in March, GoFundMe announced that campaigns using it to spread misinformation violated the terms and conditions of the company and would be banned from the site.

In addition to that, GoFundMe also started a detailed review of all the ongoing campaigns on its site to identify and remove any products or projects that make health claims that had not been verified by a local or national regulatory body.

However, for the past four years, diverse anti-vaccination groups had raised over $170,000 on GoFundMe campaigns, an internal company analysis showed.

Along with the fund-raising sites, the social media giants also joined the battle against the anti-vaccination movements. In late 2018, Pinterest blocked vaccination-related search terms to limit the spread of unverified or false information on the subject.

The company went further to try to pull the misleading content, but it turned out it was not possible to remove all of it. Furthermore, Pinterest also blocked some cancer-related searches and numerous accounts spreading controversial cancer treatments.

Facebook and YouTube also took measures recently to combat with the spread of anti-vaccine content on their respective platforms.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week that there are 695 confirmed cases of measles in 22 states this year, the highest number since the government proclaimed the disease eliminated in 2000. 

According to health officials, among the other reasons, the spread of misinformation and the controversial statements that the pharmaceutical industry aims to hurt American children have led to the current rise of measles.

Do you agree or disagree with the new Indiegogo policy?