In a continuing crackdown on anti-vaccine content across the web, the fundraising site GoFundMe has announced that people who publicly reject the science and efficacy of vaccines will no longer be allowed to use the platform to raise money for their causes, The Daily Beast reported late last month.
After one person reportedly raised almost $80,000 for an anti-vaccine cause, the site announced that it would conduct a “thorough review” of the causes that it represents.
“Campaigns raising money to promote misinformation about vaccines violate GoFundMe’s terms of service and will be removed from the platform,” GoFundMe spokesperson Bobby Whithorne said. “We are conducting a thorough review and will remove any campaigns currently on the platform.”
The move comes in the wake of a resurgence of measles across Europe and the U.S., mostly originating in communities that have pockets of people who are not up to date on their vaccinations. Recently in Madagascar, over 1,200 people have died due to a measles outbreak.
Social media has cracked down the hardest on anti-vax content as of late. Last month, Facebook announced that it will block advertisements that promote anti-vax claims. The decision came after mounting pressure culminated in a hearing on Capitol Hill in early March where a Senate panel railed against the dangers of misinformation about vaccines. Other platforms such as YouTube and Pinterest have moved to clamp down on anti-vax content.
1200 dead in Madagascar from the measles this year. They want the vaccine, but it's hard to get. Reuters photo shows the kids this family used to have. US anti-vaxxers want this here???? #vaccinate #measles pic.twitter.com/wMbrMCg3Tz
— Brian Dunning (@BrianDunning) April 15, 2019
Despite GoFundMe’s efforts, The Independent found that anti-vax campaigns were still up and running on the site three weeks after The Daily Beast’s initial report.
One such campaign was titled “Stop Non-INFO World Vaccinations” and accused the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of using vaccines to inject mercury into children and pregnant women. The campaign, founded by a man named Jeb Boston Dawson, has a single donation of $5, which Dawson reportedly donated himself. Another campaign has so far raised $1,010 for a California woman who says she suffered vision loss after receiving the shingles vaccine.
In January of this year, the World Health Organization declared that people who reject vaccines are among the top 10 health threats facing the world in the coming year.
Featured image: screen grab/TOTT News