Elizabeth Warren accuses Amazon of peddling false information about Covid

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts sent a letter to Amazon this week demanding that the company do more to stop “peddling misinf...


Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts sent a letter to Amazon this week demanding that the company do more to stop “peddling misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines and treatments” through questionable products sold on the site.

The letter, addressed to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, ​​dated September 7, claims the online retailer’s search algorithm is helping spread disinformation about Covid-19 by promoting books on the site’s bestseller list which is riddled with false facts about the pandemic and vaccines.

Ms Warren said her staff researched Amazon using terms such as “Covid-“, “Covid-19 vaccine” and “pandemic”, they found that the best results included books like “The Truth on Covid-19: Exposing the Big Reset. , confinements, vaccine passports and the new normal ”, which contains several claims that have been proven to be false. The book was also called a bestseller in Amazon’s “Political Freedom” book category.

One of the authors of the book, Dr Joseph Mercola, was issued a warning letter by the FDA in February accusing him of presenting vitamin supplements for sale on his website as being effective against the coronavirus.

Research done by Ms Warren’s office also yielded front page results from books claiming that Covid-19 vaccines “make people sick and kill them” and literature touting ivermectin, a deworming drug normally used for cattle, “as a miracle cure Covid-19”, which is not the case.

“Collectively, this is an astonishing sample of disinformation that has only surfaced in a few potential research relating to Covid-19,” the letter said.

A New York Times search returned similar results.

Ms Warren acknowledged that Amazon had removed ‘sponsored’ search results for pandemic-related terms like those that appeared for KN95 masks and made an effort to direct customers to specific information by placing a banner at the top of any pandemic. – searches related to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. “But the results of my staff review are nonetheless deeply troubling,” the senator wrote.

“As cases of Covid-19 continue to increase, Amazon is fueling loops of disinformation through its search and ‘best seller’ algorithms, potentially leading countless Americans to risk their health and that of their neighbors on the Internet. base of misleading and inaccurate information they find on Amazon’s website, ”she added.

Ms Warren has asked Amazon to review its algorithms within 14 days and provide public reports on the extent to which Amazon’s algorithms are directing consumers to books and other products containing disinformation and on a plan to modify algorithms.

“We are constantly evaluating the books we list to make sure they meet our content guidelines,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement to The Times. “As an additional service to customers, at the top of relevant search results pages we refer to CDC advice on Covid and protective measures.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Elizabeth Warren accuses Amazon of peddling false information about Covid
Elizabeth Warren accuses Amazon of peddling false information about Covid
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