When the vaccine crackdown came, it was the doctors, of all people, who felt censored. It all started last year, when Adam Schiff, a Democratic representative from California, sent letters to Amazon and other tech giants expressing concern that the companies feature anti-vaccine videos and information on their platforms. Schiff cited a report by CNN that found that many searches on Amazon related to vaccines led to anti-vax content. The first listing, for instance, was a sponsored post for the book Vaccines on Trial, which is dedicated to “children who had to suffer due to adverse vaccine reactions.”
Amazon removed anti-vaccine movies like Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe from its Prime streaming service, incensing advocates opposed to mandatory vaccines and leading to a lawsuit that was filed against Schiff a few weeks ago. The lawsuit came from a New York woman who wants more information about vaccines, alongside an organization that, on the surface, seems counterintuitive: a group of doctors called the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
The lawsuit alleges that Schiff’s actions are tantamount to censorship. As a result of his letters, the suit says, Amazon kicked AAPS out of an affiliate network through which the organization had earned commissions. According to the group, searches on Facebook for AAPS vaccine articles instead yielded links to the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of the AAPS articles that was allegedly suppressed states, “Measles is a vexing problem, and more complete, forced vaccination will likely not solve it.” (Schiff’s office did not respond to a request for comment.)