GoFundMe: Stop the spread of vaccine misinformation.

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I would like to express concern that many GoFundMe campaigns have recently surfaced for the purpose of collecting funds which go directly to the conveyance of misleading and false information that discourages parents from vaccinating their children, contributing to declining vaccination rates which could reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases.

There is strong evidence to suggest that at least part of the source of this trend is the degree to which medically inaccurate information about vaccines surface on the websites where many Americans get their information, among them YouTube and Google search. Last week, YouTube announced that they would be removing advertising from videos that promote anti-vaccination content because they violate YouTube’s harmful and dangerous advertising policy.

As per your Terms and Conditions, GoFundMe prohibits content or campaigns that are fraudulent, misleading, inaccurate, dishonest or impossible. The scientific and medical communities are in overwhelming consensus that vaccines are both effective and safe. There is no evidence to suggest that vaccines cause life-threatening or disabling diseases, and the dissemination of unfounded and debunked theories about the dangers of vaccinations pose a great risk to public health. In fact, the World Health Organization listed vaccine hesitancy – the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines – as one of the top threats to global health in 2019. In a dramatic demonstration of the dangers, Washington state declared a public health emergency due to a measles epidemic in Clark County, signaling the resurgence of a potentially fatal disease that was effectively eliminated from the United States decades ago by vaccines.

As a concerned citizen, I ask that GoFundMe follow suit with YouTube and prohibit campaigns that collect funds that are used to convey misleading and inaccurate information about vaccines to the public. Since this type of campaign is in direct violation of your Terms and Conditions, I am confident that taking this step toward greater social responsibility will be an easy one.

Best Regards,

Julia Dunn