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Pinterest takes stance against anti vaxxers in midst of Auckland's measles outbreak

"We've long used guidance from health institutions to inform our policy and how we enforce it, but we wanted to do more," Pinterest said.

As Auckland battles its increasingly alarming measles outbreak, Pinterest has announced a new and aggressive stance against anti-vaxxers.
The social media platform has introduced measures to fight the spread of misinformation about vaccination by limiting results for searches to pins from internationally recognised health organisations.
The move will mean users searching for information about measles will be prevented from stumbling across posts or articles that encourage parents against vaccinating their children against the illness.
Users are only directed to posts from organisations such as Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organisation, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Earlier this year the platform began blocking searches on vaccination. But it then decided that wasn't enough and began working with health organisations to provide pins that "offer simple science and facts", sourced directly from those agencies.
"We've long used guidance from health institutions to inform our policy and how we enforce it, but we wanted to do more," Pinterest has said.
"This new search experience only shows results from leading public health institutions - you won't see any recommendations or comments on Pins in these results," the company has explained in a press release.
"We also won't show ads. We're taking this approach because we believe that showing vaccine misinformation alongside resources from public health experts isn't responsible."
The WHO has welcomed the move, saying in a statement, "Social media platforms are the way many people get their information and they will likely be major sources of information for the next generations of parents.
"We see this as a critical issue and one that needs our collective effort to protect people's health and lives."
This week more than a thousand Auckland secondary school students are home from school as communities rally to prevent further contamination.
The outbreak, which started in January, has showed little sign of slowing, with the number of confirmed cases in Auckland rising to 731. Of those, 501 are in Counties Manukau; 144 cases have been confirmed around the rest of the country.
The Ministry of Health has warned parents to not leave or enter Auckland if their children are unvaccinated.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this week called for parents to vaccinate their children, saying it was the most important thing that could be done to prevent the outbreak from spreading further.
Ardern, who said her own baby Neve is up to date with her vaccinations, said, "My strong advice to anyone is make sure that you are vaccinated, make sure that you're not relying on simply not having contact. The smartest, safest thing to do is to be vaccinated."
Next week is School Sport NZ's annual winter tournament, in which 25,000 secondary school students are due to take part.
College Sport Auckland has asked its 110 secondary schools to check the vaccination records of all students before they go.
College Sport Auckland chief executive Jim Lonergan told the NZ Herald that the number of Auckland secondary schools that had at least one measles case was in "double figures", and schools had taken different approaches to next week's tournament.
"What schools are doing, as far as we can ascertain, is that where students haven't been vaccinated they won't be going because we want to minimise any risk," he said.
Garry Carnachan of School Sport NZ, which runs the tournament, has said unimmunised students were not banned; it was up to parents to "ensure their students are protected".
Other platforms seem to be still scratching their heads as to how to counter the spread of misinformation, although Twitter has purchased a UK-based company, Fabula AI (Fabula), to help it crack down on the amount of fake news spread on its platform.