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Palm Beach County mom's fight against autism medical misinformation online

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Posted at 10:46 PM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-22 23:40:57-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A Palm Beach County mom has made it her mission to stop dangerous myths about how to cure autism, something that has no medical cure. She’s gotten help from some of the big technology companies, who have said they are cracking down on medical misinformation.

When Amanda Seigler’s son was diagnosed on the autism spectrum six years ago she went online to research.

"I’m autistic myself and I have three severe autistic children,” she said. She lives west of Lake Worth Beach.

She found some useful information. Some downright dangerous.

"We had people feeding their children bleach to try to cure them from autism,” she said. "They give instructions on how much to give how to give it, and when it’s working, according to them and when to give more."

She’s been on the crusade ever since on YouTube and Facebook.

"I observe, screen shot and report it. It’s not hard to get into these groups,” she said. “You make a fake profile. It’s really not difficult.”

With concern rising over medical misinformation some of the most powerful platforms are responding and removing content.

The BBC reports YouTube has pulled many of the questionable videos.

Earlier this year YouTube changed what videos they recommend.

NBC News found that Facebook's taken some pages down but they’re not gone long.

"(They’re) secret now because of everything that’s getting shut down,” she said, showing us a Facebook group she had asked for permission to join.

On top of the misinformation, there’s a misperception, she says.

"Until these parents can learn to embrace their child’s difference and help them, we have a lot of work to do."

Amazon has also reportedly pulled books that promote faux autism cures.