Pinterest is doubling down on its efforts to prevent the spread of anti-vaxxer misinformation on its social media network. Starting today, when Pinterest users search for terms like "measles" and "vaccine safety," they'll only see pins created by organizations like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (APP). Additionally, users won't be able to comment on these pins (to prevent astroturfing), nor will they see recommendations. Pinterest also says it won't display ads alongside these pins.
"We're taking this approach because we believe that showing vaccine misinformation alongside resources from public health experiences isn't responsible," said Ifeoma Ozoma, public policy and social impact manager at Pinterest, in the blog post announcing the change. "We know we aren't medical experts, which is why we're working with professionals to inspire Pinners with reliable information about health."
Ozoma adds that Pinterest's creative team worked with the organizations involved in the initiative to create many of the pins individuals will see when they search for vaccine information on the platform. The idea here was to translate their information, which often comes in the form of scientific texts, into something that's more accessible. In this way, Pinterest thinks it can more successfully combat anti-vaxxer misinformation, which often comes in the form of easy to digest memes and images.
Pinterest's new vaccine search feature is available in English across the globe. The company says it's working on bringing the feature to more languages soon.