A large number of videos promoting bleach as a cure for autism have recently been discovered on Youtube. Specifically, these videos promote the “Miracle Mineral Solution” (MMS), which is essentially just industrial bleach.
The product, invented by author and former Scientologist Jim Humble, is falsely promoted as a “cure” for conditions including HIV, malaria, the common cold, cancer and autism.
However, the reality of this treatment is that it actually makes people very ill, often with side effects including vomiting, severe stomach pains and diarrhoea. It has caused dozens of users to fall sick as well as two deaths in the US.
According to an investigation by technology news site Business Insider, videos promoting the product for an autism cure has appeared in the top three search results for “autism cure”. Youtube has since removed the videos after being reported by the publication.
Tom Porter, the author of the investigation, told the BBC he was “taken aback” by the high number of views on the videos promoting the product.
“People who were just looking for broad information on autism or malaria were being pushed by these videos”, he said. “It will have been promoted to people who had never heard of it.”
Mr. Porter also added that the top 20 videos promoting MMS on the platform had over 3 million views, with some even showing advertisements linking to pages where viewers could buy the substance.
YouTube reportedly told Business Insider that it does not commit a lot of time in searching for content that may violate its policies. However, they claimed to have changed their algorithms to prevent MMS content from appearing in search results.
“My understanding is that they’re not monitoring their own site in order to remove videos which contravene their policies,” Mr Porter continued.
“Activists I’ve spoken to say that’s not good enough. They have a responsibility to uphold their own policies so they don’t broadcast dangerous information to millions of people across the world.”
“It is just shocking to me that such a clear case of misinformation, that was leading to children being harmed, was allowed to spread so freely, and that they were able to exploit this platform so effectively,”
The extent of the promotions have convinced certain parents, who created private Facebook groups urging others to poison autistic kids with chlorine dioxide to “cure” them.
Despite doctors warning that drinking the substance can cause permanent harm, members of these group extend to tens of thousands of people. Parents will give it to their children either orally, through enemas or in baths.
Comments on these groups have also suggested that the children’s unfavourable reactions are proof to be that the chlorine dioxide is working.
Another product that claims to cure autism is Jilly Juice. Founded by Jillian Mai Thi Epperly, the “miracle juice” claims to cure cancer, HIV, autism, down syndrome and even homosexuality. Epperly claims to have cured herself of chronic illness by drinking her juice. Of course, in reality, the juice does none of this, as all consists of is fermented cabbage in water and a tablespoon of salt. Its symptoms include dizziness, headaches, nausea and diarrhoea.
It’s unfortunate that there are still so many people out there who truly believe this kind of substance will “cure” something like autism, and that they are still being sold today, especially when they really ought to be avoided like the plague. This is a highly dangerous product, please share this article to help spread the news, far and wide.
Story by Emily Clark
Featured Photo Credit: NBCChicago