Pinterest Is Weeding Out Vaccine Misinformation

Pinterest will now only show "reliable" search results relating to immunisations to reduce the sharing of health misinformation.

With more than 300 million people using Pinterest every month, the social media platform has taken steps to reduce the amount of false health information being shared.

From now on, only results from leading health organisations, including World Health Organisation (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the WHO-established Vaccine Safety Net (VSN), will be shown.

The social media platform decided on the change to prevent users encountering "harmful" health misinformation, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We believe a healthy life is an inspired life, and today we have an update on our efforts to combat health misinformation," it said.

The platform will work with medical professionals to add expert content to the site, and will remove misinformation that is posted and the accounts that share it.

Photo: Pinterest

Users who search for terms such as 'measles', 'vaccine safety' and other health-related terms, will also be shown a message stating why the Pin shown have been limited.

"Pins about this topic often violate our Community Guidelines, which prohibit harmful medical misinformation," the message says.

"Because of this, we've limited search results to Pins from internationally-recognised health organisations.

"If you're looking for medical advice, please contact a healthcare provider."

Photo: Pinterest

Advertisements have also been removed from these search terms, as the platform feels it is not "responsible" to show paid content with health information.

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Pinterest will continue to work with health authorities to expand its the list of health-related terms it will block misinformation from.

"We’ll need to keep evolving our list of terms for which we block medical misinformation and provide expert advice as people try to get around our safeguards," it said.

"We’ll also continue to remove this content and accounts that spread it from our service."