You may notice something unusual when you search for “vaccines” or “vaccinations” on Pinterest: no results.
The social media site has blocked all searches using terms related to vaccines or vaccinations as part of a plan to stop the spread of misinformation related to anti-vaxx posts.
When you attempt a search on “vaccination,” Pinterest instead shows a message reading: “Pins about this topic often violate our community guidelines, so we’re currently unable to show search results.”
Pinterest could not be immediately reached for comment. In a statement to CNBC, the social media platform said it was placing a ban on all vaccination searches until it can find a permanent solution.
“We want Pinterest to be an inspiring place for people, and there’s nothing inspiring about misinformation,” said a statement to CNBC from a Pinterest spokesperson. “That’s why we continue to work on new ways of keeping misleading content off our platform and out of our recommendations engine.”
Pinterest told CNBC the majority of images people shared on its platform related to vaccines were cautioning people against them.
Social media sites have grappled with how to handle anti-vaxx posts from users amid a measles outbreak in Washington state affecting more than 60 people.
More: What to know about the measles outbreak, affecting over 60 in Washington anti-vaccination hot spot
More: Son defies mom, chooses to get vaccinated at 18: ‘God knows how I’m still alive’
Last week, Facebook confirmed it has “taken steps” to reduce the amount of fake health news spread on its platform, and is even considering hiding anti-vaxx posts.
The responses follow a letter from Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., blaming sites like Facebook and Instagram for helping to spread false information about vaccines.
People choosing not to vaccinate have become a global health threat in 2019, the World Health Organization reported. Also, the CDC recognized that the number of children who aren’t being vaccinated by 24 months old has been gradually increasing.
Some parents opt not to vaccinate because of the discredited belief vaccines are linked to autism. The CDC said that there is no link and that there are no ingredients in vaccines that could cause autism.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.