Study: Amazon would spread false information about vaccines | Digital Trends Spanish
Research carried out by the School of Information at the University of Washington ensures that Amazon’s search logarithm gives preferential treatment to books that promote false information about vaccines.
Meanwhile, those texts that deny misinformation about health would appear lower in Amazon search results, where they are less likely to be seen.
Prerna Juneja and Tanu Mitra, authors of the study, noted that the company has already received criticism for not regulating health-related products on its platform.
What did they discover?
The researchers analyzed a list of 48 search terms on vaccine topics such as “immunization” and “MMR vaccine and autism” over a 22-day period.
They found that the products that promoted misinformation consistently outperformed those that refuted false claims.
Disinformation products performed well when grouped under some filters such as “average customer reviews” and “low to high price.”
In their research, the authors found that after users clicked on misinformed products or added them to carts, they were more likely to see similar items on their Amazon home pages, thus creating “a misinformation feedback loop. ”.
As a way to combat disinformation, the researchers recommend several measures that Amazon could implement, including displaying informational links next to the list of products, introducing bias indicators, and modifying its algorithms and policies to stop promoting disinformative books.