Amazon adds CDC notice to searches about coronavirus

Key Points
  • Amazon searches for "coronavirus" or "COVID-19" and other coronavirus-related content now show a notice at the top of the results directing users to the CDC website.
  • The notice provides users with a link to "learn more about coronavirus protective measures."
  • Amazon emailed sellers telling them it would take down products claiming to kill the coronavirus.
Nikol Szymul staffs a reception desk at Amazon offices discretely tucked into a building called Fiona in downtown Seattle, Washington on May 11, 2017.
Getty Images

Amazon searches for "coronavirus," "COVID-19," "n95 mask" and other coronavirus-related content now display a notice directing users to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The notice, which appears at the top of product search results, includes a link for users to "Learn more about Coronavirus protective measures." It instructs users to visit the CDC website for more information about prevention and treatment of the disease.

Here's what the notice looks like:


The move comes as the coronavirus continues to spread. At least 2,764 people have died from the disease, while total confirmed cases have risen to more than 81,000. The majority of confirmed cases are in China, but the disease has spread rapidly over the past week through South Korea, Iran and Italy.

Amazon has also cracked down on listings on its marketplace that claim to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Earlier this month, it sent emails to third-party sellers that said it would take down listings claiming to be a treatment, cure or remedy for the coronavirus. Among the products it removed were listings for a surgical face mask and a spray disinfectant, though the sellers were able to get their listings reinstated after they removed the unapproved medical claims.

Other tech companies have also taken steps to remove misinformation about the virus. Facebook said it would remove content with "false claims or conspiracy theories" about the coronavirus, while Google launched a search results page with resources from the World Health Organization. Twitter added a label linking to the CDC when users search "coronavirus."

CNBC reported that Amazon was one of several tech giants that met with WHO at Facebook's Menlo Park, California, offices on Feb. 13 to discuss how to stop misinformation about the coronavirus on their platforms.

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