AAP: Social Media Companies Must Curb Spread of Vaccine Myths
American Academy of Pediatrics is reaching out to social media companies
TUESDAY, March 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Google, Facebook, and Pinterest need to take more action against the growing threat to children posed by online misinformation about vaccines, the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a letter sent to the social media companies.
"Pediatricians are working in our clinics and our communities, talking with families one-on-one about how important vaccines are to protect their children's health. But it's no longer enough," AAP President Kyle Yasuda, M.D., said in an academy news release. "Our worst fears are being realized as measles outbreaks spread across the country. I reached out to the technology industry with an urgent request to work together to combat the dangerous spread of vaccine misinformation online."
Google (which owns YouTube), Facebook (which owns Instagram and WhatsApp), and Pinterest all say they are taking steps to tackle the problem, but the AAP says more needs to be done to ensure that parents have credible information about vaccines. In the letter, the AAP asks the companies to meet and discuss ways to work together to achieve that goal.
"We have an opportunity -- and in my view, an obligation -- to work together to solve this public health crisis," Yasuda said. "It will take commitments across all sectors -- local and federal government, the medical and public health community, and the technology industry -- to do so."