by Penka Arsova
BuzzFeed published an article this week that criticizes Amazon for not doing enough to crack down on coronavirus misinformation on its platform.
The piece, titled “Amazon Is Pushing Readers Down A ‘Rabbit Hole’ Of Conspiracy Theories About The Coronavirus,” accuses the platform of effectively promoting misinformation about the virus because it does not outright censor some books. These books, according to BuzzFeed, contain “conspiracy theories” about the pandemic and the coronavirus.
[…] The article claims that the real issue is that Amazon allows users to decide which books are popular on the platform. BuzzFeed suggests that the platform should follow the example of Facebook, Twitter, and Google in dealing with coronavirus misinformation, which includes banning anything that goes against “authoritative” sources.
In detail: BuzzFeed cited research conducted by a team from the University of Amsterdam, King’s College London, the Digital Methods Initiative Winter School, and infodemic.eu. They found that when searching for coronavirus-related terms, the content that pops up at the top of the page is “COVID conspiracy books,” the report says. This happened even when “researchers browsed non-conspiratorial books about the virus and related topics,” BuzzFeed notes.