You Can Now Find Legit Vaccine Information On Pinterest

Photo: Heather Hazzan, SELF Magazine

Until recently, Pinterest blocked results from searches about vaccines on its platform. But today, the company announced that it will provide “authoritative vaccine results,” and no others, to those searches.

The good news is that you can now find and pin information from the World Health Organisation, Vaccine Safety Net, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Their results will turn up if you search for “vaccines” or related keywords like “measles.” Those searches also feature a message on the page:

Pins about this topic often violate our Community Guidelines, which prohibit harmful medical misinformation.

Because of this, we’ve limited search results to Pins from internationally-recognised health organisations.

If you’re looking for medical advice, please contact a healthcare provider

Other searches, like “cancer cure,” still return no results, only a message like so:

Pins about this topic often violate our Community Guidelines, which prohibit harmful medical misinformation. In some cases, we may choose not to show any search results for this topic at all.

If you see any content that you believe violates Pinterest’s guidelines, please report it to us. Our policies and enforcement guidelines are informed by internationally recognised institutions, including the CDC, WHO, and AAP.

If you’re looking for medical advice, please contact a healthcare provider.

While Pinterest’s new policy is definitely a step up from their previous one, Pinterest is still not a wonderland of evidence-based health information. If you search for “measles,” you get vetted vaccine information. But if you search “chickenpox,” the results include some less-than-scientific pins including one that claims Vitamin C prevents the disease.

Perhaps they’re still working on it. A few minutes ago, a search for “cancer” turned up pins about foods that are supposedly giving you cancer. I reloaded the page just now, and I now get mostly zodiac related pins.

On the other hand, the search term “cancer remedies” is not blocked and turns up some less-than-scientific pins (like one suggesting that ginger tea kills cancer cells).

To report a pin for violating Pinterest’s guidelines, click the pin and use the three-dots menu to report it for “medical misinformation.”


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