These books promote ignorance and put children in grave danger.
Courtesy of NBC News:
Amazon is removing from its online marketplace “autism cure” books that unscientifically claim children can be cured of autism with pseudoscientific methods such as ingesting and bathing in a potentially toxic form of bleach and taking medication meant to treat arsenic and lead poisoning.
Amazon confirmed Tuesday that the books “Healing the Symptoms Known as Autism” and “Fight Autism and Win” are no longer available, but declined to answer specific questions about why it had removed them or whether they were part of a larger cleanup effort, citing a policy of not commenting on individual accounts.
The move by Amazon comes on the heels of a report in Wired published Monday that criticized the retail giant for offering medically dubious books and dangerous methods for reversing autism spectrum disorder. For years, news organizations have pointed out Amazon’s practice of hosting books that promote vaccine and other health-related misinformation, but the pressure has intensified in recent weeks.
Online platforms have been reacting to increased scrutiny from lawmakers and public health advocates over the health misinformation hosted on their websites. Last week, Facebook announced it would “downrank” vaccine misinformation shared on its platform and reject advertising that spread “vaccine hoaxes.” Pinterest has opted to block all vaccine-related search results, and YouTube disabled advertising on anti-vaccination videos last month. In February, Amazon pulled anti-vaccination documentaries from its Prime Video service.
This is way past due.
Any outlet which allows the promotion of these ridiculous “homeopathic” remedies for things like autism, bipolar disorder, or other mental health challenges are contributing the dumbing down of parents who need real effective medications and therapeutic interventions to help their children cope.
I work in the mental health community and I can attest to the fact that there are loving parents who are subjecting their children to harmful “cures” in a desperate attempt to give them a better life, when in fact they are causing long-lasting psychological and sometimes even physical damage.
Trying to convince them that what they are doing it wrong is an uphill battle that will often see them pulling their children out of services rather than admit that they have been duped into doing harm to their child.
It is a tragedy.