Senior Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Adam Schiff have both written to Amazon chief Andy Jesse, expressing concerns about the e-commerce portal’s promotion of books and products that promote misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.
“Recent investigations indicate that Amazon’s algorithms are promoting anti-vaccine products across the site on fact-based vaccine information and pushing customers toward a content bubble of excessive disinformation,” Mr. Schiff wrote in the letter. mentioned.
He accused the tech giant of profiting directly from the anti-vaccine misinformation sensation, while conspiracy theories about vaccines continue to perpetuate deaths from Covid-19.
“As a member of Congress that is deeply concerned by the spread of vaccine hitchhiking during this time of crisis, I look at Amazon’s policies regarding false or misleading health information to identify potential needs for federal regulation. Request additional, more detailed information,” said Mr. Schiff added.
Senator Elizabeth Warren also noted in her letter to Mr Jassi that the top results for search terms related to the pandemic on platforms based on lies about COVID-19 vaccines and cures are “consistently included” books.
“When employees searched for the words “Covid-19” and “vaccine,” the first result, prominently presented in the upper left corner of the screen, was a book by Joseph Mercola and Ronnie Cummins called “The Truth About Covid -19: Exposing”. The Great Reset, the Lockdown, the Vaccine Passport and the New Normal,” Ms Warren said.
“Dr Mercola has been described as “the most influential broadcaster of online coronavirus misinformation,” she added in the letter.
The book, Ms Warren noted in the letter, perpetuates dangerous conspiracies about COVID-19 with false and misleading information about vaccines.
“The claim that vitamin C, vitamin D, and quercetin – supplements sold on Mercola’s website – can prevent COVID-19 infection – a claim with so little scientific basis that the FDA sent a letter to Mercola. It was directed to stop selling these supplements for the unapproved treatment of COVID-19,” she explained.
The book also claims that COVID-19 vaccines cannot be relied upon “when study after study” has shown they are effective and safe, Ms Warren said.
Both US politicians called on Amazon to urgently review its algorithms to determine the extent to which the platform is pushing users to misinformation.
An Amazon spokesperson said the company is continually evaluating books to make sure they comply with its content guidelines. “…and as an additional service to customers, at the top of relevant search results pages we link to CDC advice on COVID and security measures,” Reuters quoted the spokesperson as saying.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /