Guidance: COVID-19 Vaccine Fundraising on GoFundMe
By: GoFundMe Trust & Safety Team
Our Terms of Service prohibit misinformation related to vaccines. Since implementing our anti-vaccine policy in 2019, we have removed hundreds of fundraisers from our platform that violated this term by attempting to promote misinformation related to vaccines that have been approved by regulatory bodies.
When it comes to our policy, we are committed to legal and regulatory compliance and are guided by scientific evidence from health authorities and governing bodies. The World Health Organization announced the list of vaccines against Covid-19 that meet necessary criteria for safety and efficacy in June 2021, and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first COVID-19 vaccine in August 2021. GoFundMe’s policy reflects this guidance.
Throughout the ongoing and constantly evolving COVID-19 crisis, we have seen several issues related to vaccines and other mandates begin to manifest on our platform. To maintain the safety of our organizer and donor community, our Trust & Safety team have implemented the following proactive measures:
- Added Resource labels to educate our users on fundraisers related to COVID-19
- Identified organizations and individuals off the platform that have spread harmful misinformation and took proactive measures to prevent them from ever getting onto our platform
- Monitored for organizations and individuals that are on our platform for other fundraising purposes, but that are affiliated with the spreading of misinformation off platform
- Expanded our proactive monitoring measures to include emerging, misleading claims about medical products that prevent, treat, mitigate, diagnose or cure COVID-19
If the fundraiser violates our Anti-Vaccine policy or Terms of Service, the fundraiser and/or the account associated with the fundraiser, will be removed.
What people can fundraise for:
Health care needs:
- Medical expenses related to COVID-19 and vaccine-related injuries
- Funeral/Memorial for individuals passed from COVID-19
- Nonprofit organizations expanding vaccine accessibility
Mask + Vaccine mandates:
- Legal fees to legally challenge a mandate
- Dispute/pay fines if a fine was already issued
The constantly changing public discourse throughout this pandemic creates a unique and challenging situation for many platforms. There is not one answer or catch all, but we are remaining agile and committed to evolving our processes to identify and stop as many people as possible from spreading harmful misinformation.
For additional resources and guidance on vaccines, including their safety and efficacy, please visit the following authorities: