Amazon charity option reportedly used by anti-vaccination groups

Anti-vaxxers have faced increased scrutiny in recent years.

Mar 5, 2019, 10:08 am

Tech

Andrew Wyrich 

Andrew Wyrich

Amazon Anti-Vaccination

Christian Harrison/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

Amazon’s charity option, AmazonSmile, appears to be helping fund anti-vaccination organizations, according to a new report.

The Guardian reports that AmazonSmile is promoted by a number of prominent anti-vaccination groups while other organizations are listed as options to use the donation service on the retail giant.

How much AmazonSmile has benefited the groups is not entirely known.

As the Guardian notes:

It is not clear how much money anti-vaccine organizations have received from AmazonSmile. The foundation’s financial disclosure for 2016 includes a 1,496-page spreadsheet of recipient organizations which is not machine readable and not in alphabetical order. In 2017, the most recent year for which the disclosures are available, AmazonSmile did not release an itemized list of disbursements.

The retail giant has been making moves to remove anti-vaccination content in recent weeks. PCMag reports Amazon pulled anti-vaccination documentaries from Prime Video.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) wrote a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos expressing concern that the company “accepts paid advertising that contains deliberate misinformation about vaccines; promoting these advertisements as suggested content ahead of intended search results.

“Every online platform, including Amazon, must act responsibly and ensure that they do not contribute to this growing public health catastrophe,” Schiff wrote.

Other social media companies have also faced pressure to reduce the number of anti-vaccination content on their sites.

You can read all of the Guardian report here.

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*First Published: Mar 5, 2019, 10:08 am