Indiegogo, one of the most popular crowdfunding sites, has recently announced that their platform will no longer host anti-vaccination fundraisers.
The move came when two film producers managed to raise over $80,000 on the site to make an anti-vaxx documentary titled Vaxxed II: The People's Truth.
"See the TRUTH that the Government, Doctors, and Big Pharma never wanted you to know," read the fundraising page. Polly Tommey and Brian Burrowes were both responsible for the crowdsourcing.
According to Tommey and Burrowes, their main goal is to further educate people that vaccines cause autism, a claim that has long been debunked.
The first part of the prospective documentary series, Vaxxed: From Cover Up to Catastrophe, has long been removed from the libraries of media streaming service Hoopla and Amazon Prime streaming.
Indiegogo says to Buzzfeed News that Tommey and Burrowes will still get their money, minus the site's 5 percent fee, but similar projects will be banned from the platform in the future. Indiegogo has also never promoted the fundraising on its site.
The crowdfunding site is currently working on a new policy to prevent anti-vaxx campaigns from being hosted on their platform, although there is still no specific date as to when the policy will take effect.
The policy states that any health-related fundraisers that do not have scientific backing will be banned from their site. Anti-vaccine information doesn't have any scientific backing.
Threat To Global Health
Indiegogo is just one of the companies that recently made a stand about anti-vaccination fundraisers or campaigns. GoFundMe has banned anti-vaccination fundraisers on their site since March, and Pinterest, YouTube, Amazon, and Facebook are also trying to limit the vaccine misinformation on their platforms.
According to the World Health Organization, vaccine hesitancy is included in their list of top 10 threats to global health in 2019.
Since the anti-vaccine movement got bigger, so does the measles cases in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, measles was already eradicated in the country in 2000, but it has made a terrible comeback on 2018. CDC also reports that 2019 is already a record-breaking year for the disease.
Vaccines have already been proven safe and effective throughout the years, but anti-vaccine advocates are stoking the parents' fears about the risks by spreading false information through bogus science, social media, and books.
Since it has become a very significant problem, at least 20 states in the United States are proposing new laws to find a solution.
Pushback And Censorship
Tommey and Burrowes are aware of the backlash and pushback they got for the first Vaxxed documentary, including being banned on the Tribeca Film Festival and other platforms and screenings. According to the producers, they see the ban from the Tribeca Film Festival as censorship by powerful interests.
"You can't silence the truth, the parents like myself who vaccinated and now have brain damaged adults to look after for life because we DID vaccinate will never be silenced," says Tommey to BuzzFeed News in an email. "Vaxxed 2 is even more powerful than the first film, The People's Truth. Censorship has a horrid way of backfiring on those implementing."