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YouTube, Pinterest say acting against anti-vaccine messages

WASHINGTON: Several social networks including Pinterest and YouTube have detailed measures they are taking in response to pressure to combat disinformation on vaccines, which they have been accused of enabling.

The company announced it had started blocking certain searches related to vaccinations and cancer cures last year, because results were leading to harmful misinformation.

“We want Pinterest to be an inspiring place for people, and there’s nothing inspiring about misinformation,” a spokesperson said.

YouTube announced Friday it was removing ads on anti-vaccine videos, thus eliminating a key way such videos make money.

Buzzfeed had drawn attention to instances in which YouTube’s automated recommendations system had allowed some anti-vaccine videos to slip through.

Several outbreaks of measles in the US have sickened 159 people since the start of the year, including 65 in Clark County, Washington state. Most of the cases involved non-vaccinated children.