GoFundMe is removing anti-vaxxers from its platform, according to an exclusive report by The Daily Beast. The company is currently conducting a review for anti-vax campaigns on the platform and will ban any fundraisers found to be promoting bad science.
GoFundMe confirmed the report to The Verge. “Campaigns raising money to promote misinformation about vaccines violate GoFundMe’s terms of service and will be removed from the platform,” a representative said.
GoFundMe says it’s “conducting a thorough review and removing any campaigns currently on the platform.” Earlier today, a quick search on GoFundMe for “anti vaccine” still brought up a number of anti-vaccination campaigns, including a number of campaigns associated with Andrew Wakefield’s Vaxxed series. Vaxxed was one of the anti-vax documentaries Amazon removed from Prime Video on March 1st. The Vaxxed GoFundMe campaigns asked fans to help fund a sequel and to fund the film’s tour through Birmingham, Alabama. GoFundMe tells The Verge that it’s removed the two Vaxxed campaigns now.
GoFundMe prohibits campaigns that make dubious health claims in its terms of service, saying users must avoid any campaigns related to “products that make health claims that have not been approved or verified by the local or national regulatory body.” But that measure is rarely enforced, and groups opposing vaccinations have raised at least $170,000 on GoFundme over the past four years, according to The Daily Beast’s analysis.
The anti-vax movement has been linked to a number of recent outbreaks of preventable diseases, most notably a recent resurgence of measles cases within the US.
Update March 22nd, 10:12PM ET: This article has been updated with further comment from GoFundMe, noting that the Vaxxed campaigns have since been removed.