One of the scariest things about the internet is that people can spread misinformation and feelings over data and facts, and get other people to follow suit and adopt their beliefs. Things quickly become frenzied. The whole anti-vaxxer debate is the most recent example of people perpetuating feelings over facts, and it’s pretty terrifying.
Ironically enough, I witnessed a Facebook friend post something just last week about her stance on not vaccinating her children, and everything spiraled out of control real quick. She stated her reason for not vaccinating is due to vaccines causing autism and she doesn’t want her children to get autism.
Listen, I am all for constructive debates, but how can you debate something that is being spread with no grounding in reality? How are you supposed to combat pseudoscience, which are beliefs and statements people try to pass off as science or facts, but are the complete opposite of data and science?
The CDC has stated that there is no link to vaccines causing autism. On their website it says, “Some people have had concerns that ASD might be linked to the vaccines children receive, but studies have shown that there is no link between receiving vaccines and developing ASD.”
A recently released study conducted in Denmark using all the children born in the country between 1999 and 2010 has also debunked this theory. “The study strongly supports that MMR vaccination does not increase the risk for autism,” the authors of this study wrote in the Annals of Internal Medicine. “We believe our results offer reassurance and provide reliable data.”
And then you read about things in the media such as the 6-year-old boy right in Oregon who got Tetanus because he wasn’t vaccinated against the disease. He sliced open his forehead playing at home on a farm, contracted Tetanus, and ended up spending 57 days in the hospital (47 of which were spent in intensive care) to the tune of $811,929.
Pinterest just announced that they are stepping up to shut down anti-vaxxers, and to combat the spreading of misinformation they’re going to stop returning any search results for vaccines or keywords related to vaccines. This is their temporary solution as they try to find something that works better long-term.
I have to applaud Pinterest for making such a bold move. They make a great point about misinformation being spread online. When people spread misinformation about health related content, it puts the people that read and believe that at risk. In regards to social media, freedom of speech generally doesn’t apply to hateful conduct or things that are considered dangerous, and it quite frankly shouldn’t. It will be interesting to see how other social media platforms step up to address the spreading of pseudoscience.
In the meantime, be sure to research anything you do read online, especially if it is medical or health related. Don’t believe everything you read. Look at as many different sources as you can while trying to form opinions, and make sure those sources are credible.
Bre is a female millennial go getter residing in New York. One part entrepreneur, one part geek, she obtained her degree in Textile/Surface Design from The Fashion Institute of Technology.
She has held some exciting roles in both fashion as a designer working for brands like Victoria’s Secret and Henri Bendel, as well as in ad tech working for publishers like Ziff Davis.
Today she operates her own luxury label Bre Avery, along with Chip Chick Media which reaches millions of women each month.
Bre is passionate about teaching women how to build a business and be an entrepreneur, in addition to keeping her readers informed of the latest technology trends and exciting products to improve their lifestyles.
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