Amazon needs to explain how its recommendation algorithm works
Amazon needs to explain how its recommendation algorithm works

Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote a letter urging Amazon to take more action to prevent suspicious products from spreading false information about the coronavirus to the market.

In a letter to CEO Andy Gacy, Warren asked for a better understanding of how Amazon's search algorithm works and the "bestseller" badge.

She said the company's recommendations could prompt consumers to buy books and other products with incorrect information about the coronavirus.

She added, "Research on the coronavirus, the novel coronavirus, the vaccine, the coronavirus vaccine, and the pandemic have resulted in products that spread incorrect information about coronavirus vaccines and treatments," many of which appear at the top of the search results.

For example, Ronnie Cummins and D. Joseph Mercola (an influential editor who spreads misinformation about vaccines and viruses online) has published a post "About COVID - The '19 Truth' book is the first research on COVID-19 and the publication of vaccines, according to News.

It was also voted as one of the best sellers in the Political Freedom category for Amazon Books.

The letter said the search for a COVID-19 vaccine has produced other publications promoting vaccine treatments or misinformation, including vaccines that make people sick and kill people.

Amazon needs to explain how its recommendation algorithm works

An Amazon spokesperson said in a statement, “We have evaluated the books we have listed to ensure that they meet our content guidelines.19 and precautionary measures.

In addition, Warren acknowledged that Amazon has taken steps to help users obtain specific information about COVID-19, such as displaying a banner with a link to a food and beverage site.

"The results of the review conducted by the staff of my office are deeply disturbing," the letter said. As infections continue to rise, Amazon is leading the cycle of misinformation through search algorithms and "bestseller" badges. It could hurt a lot of Americans.

Warren asked CEO Andy Gacy some questions to learn more about the company's policy. The deadline for Gacy's response is September 22nd.

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