AAP urges tech companies to combat vaccine misinformation

The AAP has urged the CEOs of Google, Facebook and Pinterest to address misinformation on vaccination on their social media sites and to promote credible information, according to a statement from the academy.

AAP President Kyle E. Yasuda, MD, FAAP, said in the statement that one-on-one discussions with families concerning the importance of vaccination is “no longer enough.” He suggested that the technology companies and the academy can work together to ensure that information on these platforms is based in science and originates from trusted sources.

“Pediatricians talk with families every day about their children’s health, and we respect parents who disagree with us,” he said. “We have found that continuing to talk with parents who are hesitant about vaccines is the best way to bring them closer to a decision to vaccinate their child. The same is true in the social media space.”

Attention was recently drawn to both YouTube and Pinterest, two social media platforms that have taken steps to limit the spread of misinformation surrounding vaccines.

 
The AAP has recommended that technology companies play a more active role in addressing antivaccine content on their platforms.
Source: Shutterstock

“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.”

Disclosure: Infectious Diseases in Children was unable to confirm Yasuda’s relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.

The AAP has urged the CEOs of Google, Facebook and Pinterest to address misinformation on vaccination on their social media sites and to promote credible information, according to a statement from the academy.

AAP President Kyle E. Yasuda, MD, FAAP, said in the statement that one-on-one discussions with families concerning the importance of vaccination is “no longer enough.” He suggested that the technology companies and the academy can work together to ensure that information on these platforms is based in science and originates from trusted sources.

“Pediatricians talk with families every day about their children’s health, and we respect parents who disagree with us,” he said. “We have found that continuing to talk with parents who are hesitant about vaccines is the best way to bring them closer to a decision to vaccinate their child. The same is true in the social media space.”

Attention was recently drawn to both YouTube and Pinterest, two social media platforms that have taken steps to limit the spread of misinformation surrounding vaccines.

 
The AAP has recommended that technology companies play a more active role in addressing antivaccine content on their platforms.
Source: Shutterstock

“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.”

Disclosure: Infectious Diseases in Children was unable to confirm Yasuda’s relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.