GoFundMe bans anti-vaxxer campaigns

 news.com.au  03/25/2019 03:52:21 

Anti-vaxxers will no longer be able to used crowd-funding platform GoFundMe to raise money to help spread misinformation about vaccinations.

In the past, anti-vaxxers have used the donation website and others like it to promote an anti-vaccination agenda through unfounded claims about vaccines.

Bobby Whithorne, a spokesman for GoFundMe, told The Daily Beastthese types of campaigns violated the platform’s terms and conditions.

“Campaigns raising money to promote misinformation about vaccines violate GoFundMe’s terms of service and will be removed from the platform,” he said.

“We are conducting a thorough review and will remove any campaigns currently on the platform.”

GoFundMe’s terms of service note funds cannot be raised for campaigns that are “fraudulent, misleading, inaccurate, dishonest or impossible”.

The rules also state campaigns cannot promote “products that make health claims that have not been approved or verified by the applicable local and/or national regulatory body”.

While anti-vax campaigns only represent a small number of the campaigns on the website, they have the potential to cause a lot of harm by further spreading misinformation.

The Daily Beastfound fundraisers promoting anti-vaccination beliefs resulted in at least $A240,200 being raised in the past four years.

Prominent anti-vaccination activist Larry Cook reportedly pocketed $A111,645 on multiple GoFundMe campaigns promoting an anti-vax rhetoric.

Following the recent measles outbreak in Washington state, Mr Cook paid to target women of child-bearing age with anti-vaxxer Facebook ads.

It is understood those ads have since been removed by Facebook.

The move by GoFundMe to crack down on anti-vaxxers follows similar announcements by other major organisations.

Pinterest recently announced it would temporarily block any vaccine-related searches until it figured out how to remove all anti-vaccination content on the platform.

Earlier this month, Facebook announced it would reduce the spread of anti-vaccination information on its platform.

The social network claimed it would make anti-vaccination-related content less prominent in search results and not allow it to be promoted through ads or recommendations.

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