AMA calls on tech CEOs to address anti-vaccine content

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The American Medical Association is calling on major technology companies to ensure their users have access to accurate information on vaccines.

AMA CEO and Executive Vice President James Madara, MD, discussed the threat of anti-vaccine messages posted online in a March 13 letter to the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.

"As physicians, we are concerned that the proliferation of this type of health-related misinformation will undermine sound science, further decrease vaccinations and persuade people to make medical decisions that could spark the spread of easily preventable diseases," Dr. Madara wrote in the letter.

The AMA challenged the companies to create and share plans for how they will provide users with access to scientifically-validated information on vaccines.

The move comes a week after American Academy of Pediatrics President Kyle Yasuda, MD, penned a similar letter to Facebook, Google and Pinterest, calling anti-vaccine misinformation a "public health crisis."

Many of the technology companies addressed in the letters are already taking steps to tackle anti-vaccine messages. Google and YouTube, for example, are collaborating with health experts to display authoritative information on vaccines during user searches for medical content.

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