Indiegogo plays science police

They were already playing thought police, but now they’re branching out into policing science:

The last year has been the worst on record in the US for measles outbreaks since the disease was declared ‘eradicated’ in 2000. Even though vaccination rates across the country are still high, (according to the CDC) there remains some communities where disinformation campaigns which claim that ‘vaccines are dangerous’ (often called ‘anti-vaxx’ campaigns) have led to parents refusing to vaccinate their children. Sadly, this can lead to a deadly outbreak when members of the public are exposed to someone who has picked up the disease, often overseas. Measles is highly contagious and can be fatal, especially amongst children.

And despite President Trump telling Americans to “get their shots”, 45 has previously appeared to link vaccines and autism. Public health experts say there is no link.

At the same time, over half a million children in Britain have been left unprotected against measles in the past decade and Unicef has called for a renewed focus on immunization.

It’s with this background that some tech companies are starting to realize they may have been part of the problem.

Yesterday Crowdfunding site Indiegogo said it would no longer allow anti-vaccine fundraisers or similarly unscientific, so-called “health campaigns”, to use its platform.

The move came after $86,543 was raised for a documentary, called Vaxxed II, based on the false claim that vaccines cause autism. Although the organization behind it, The People’s Truth, will still get their cash, minus the site’s 5{e8a4cc2da20ae907408fc668f824b0c1c953618ed39cb8b4e4c88688f9991565} fee, Indiegogo said it was now planning a new policy to keep similar anti-vaccine projects off its site, a company spokesperson told BuzzFeed News Friday.

The fundraiser did not violate IndieGoGo’s existing policies on untruthful campaigns, but Indiegogo never promoted it on its site, said a company spokesperson. Executive directors of the “documentary”, Polly Tommey and Brian Burrowes, have criticized tech companies’ ‘de-platforming’ of their film as “censorship”.

Indiegogo is the latest in a line of tech companies coming round to the idea of cutting off the oxygen of publicity and cash to such campaigns.

The unmentioned elephant in the room is the I-word. Immigration. That’s the real reason for the increase in measles everywhere, along with the increase in a whole host of other diseases for which there is no vaccination.

The fact that none of these pro-vaccine activists will even mention the word serves to demonstrate that their professed concerns about measles, and their professed concerned about children’s health, is entirely false.


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