Instagram ramps up efforts to fight COVID-19 misinformation
Instagram is removing AR filters which claim to predict if the user has coronavirus or not, and more related ones.
Companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter have announced different steps taken to curb misinformation on coronavirus. Instagram is now removing all AR filters related to coronavirus. The Facebook-owned company is also displaying a link to the World Health Organisation (WHO) at the top of its feed.
Facebook in a post announced the updates on AR filters relayed to coronavirus. Users will no longer see AR filters which have content like predicting if people have coronavirus or with information on curing it.
"First, we've removed previously-published effects and are rejecting all new effects, which claim to predict, diagnose, treat, or cure coronavirus," Facebook said.
Facebook is also preventing users from searching for AR filters related to coronavirus (COVID-19) on Instagram. Users will see only those AR filters which are verified by Facebook.
"Secondly, we won't allow people to search for COVID-19 related AR effects on Instagram, unless they were developed in partnership with a recognized health organization."
Facebook and Instagram let users create AR filters which are quite popular especially on the former. There have been AR filters which claim to predict if the user has coronavirus or not. Instagram also has AR filters on the current panic buying of toilet papers by consumers.
I missed that !— Maximilien Moreau (Max) (@MaximilieMoreau) February 1, 2020
On Instagram, a filter to see if you are "infected" with coronavirus or not.pic.twitter.com/kXGJAd6C8D
Instagram has also started showing a top card on its feed with the message, "Help Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus: See the latest information from the World Health Organization so you can help prevent the spread of COVID-19."
We wanted to provide some updates on our efforts to support the Instagram community at this time. The following updates will all be available from today. https://t.co/AYvJdcKgWH— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) March 13, 2020
The message contains a link to the WHO's website where people can track coronavirus updates, prevention tips and other important information. Instagram told TechCrunch it is displaying this message in countries where the coronavirus is having a major impact.
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