Facing public pressure and a strong-worded admonition by an influential California congressman, Amazon has apparently plucked several anti-vaccine films from its Prime Video streaming service.
As BuzzFeed first reported, controversial film designations including “Vaxxed, ” “Shoot ’Em Up: The Truth About Vaccines” and “We Don’t Vaccinate! ” are now rostered as “currently unavailable” on Prime Video. The three anti-vax movies were axed from the website on Friday — merely hours after Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff transmitted a letter to Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos excoriating the tech monster for “surfacing and recommending makes and content that intimidate parents from vaccinating their children.”
The U.S. is currently battling a multi-state outbreak of measles, a potentially life-threatening and unusually contagious disease. Worldwide, cases of measles have also surged to “alarmingly high levels, ” UNICEF warned in a new report this week.
“This is a wake up call, ” Henriette Fore, UNICEF’s executive director, was indicated in the following statement. “We have a safe, effective and inexpensive vaccine against a highly contagious disease — a inoculation that has saved almost a million lives every year over the last two decades.”
“These occurrences haven’t happened overnight, ” she continued. “Just as the serious outbreaks we are seeing today took hold in 2018, shortfall of action today will have disastrous consequences for children tomorrow.”
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention memo, two dosages of the “very safe and effective” MMR vaccine are about 97 percent effective at preventing measles.
In his letter addressed to Bezos, Schiff referred to a Feb. 27 CNN Business report that spotlit the anti-vaccination videos and journals available for sale or viewing on Amazon’s platform.
Per the CNN report:
A recent sought for “vaccine” on Amazon furnished a scour page been characterized by anti-vaccination content. Of the 18 works and movies listed on the search page, 15 contained anti-vaccination content. The first inventory was a sponsored post — that is, an ad for which Amazon was paid — for the book “Vaccines on Experiment: Truth and Results of Mandatory Shots” by Pierre St. Clair, which Amazon was also offering free of charge to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.
As of late Saturday, anti-vaccine volumes — including “Vaccines on Trial” and the Amazon bestseller “Miller’s Review of Critical Vaccine Studies: 400 Important Scientific Papers Summarized for Parents and Researchers” — were still available on Amazon.
Schiff said he was particularly fright by the idea that Amazon was consenting paid publicize “that contains deliberate misinformation about vaccines” and was “promoting these advertisements as suggested content ahead of proposed search results.”
“Every online platform, including Amazon, must act responsibly and guarantees to they do not contribute to this growing public health cataclysm, ” Schiff wrote.
The congressman has put pressure on other tech companies, including Facebook and YouTube, to pull anti-vaccine content from their platforms.
YouTube announced last-place month that it would demonetize channels that promote anti-vax content. Facebook told CNN that it is taking “steps to reduce the distribution of health-related misinformation” on its site.