Instagram has moved to stop all adverts and posts about the Coronavirus disease unless they are developed by recognised health bodies.
In an update to its Augmented Reality (AR) creators’ Facebook group, the company wrote that it had removed already-published AR effects, and would henceforth reject any pending requests for effects that claim to “predict, diagnose, treat, or cure coronavirus.”
This is part of the move by the social media platform to stop the spread of misinformation about the novel coronavirus pandemic that’s surfacing through its augmented reality effects.
As part of its strategies to stifle the spread of false information, the social media is also going to alter the search results for COVID-19 on its platform, using the AR effects on Instagram, unless they originated from “a recognized health organization.”
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In recent times, certain offending filters have attempted to quiz users on whether they have the virus or directly reference panic-buying because of the pandemic.
Beyond these, Instagram will also direct users to reputable sources of information about the virus when they search certain hashtags. From January 2020, the platform had started blocking and restricting hashtags that spread misinformation and began removing posts that advertised fake cures or prevention methods.
Recently, the ‘sister-platform’ Facebook had launched a pop-up to direct users searching for information on Coronavirus to the World Health Organisation or the local health authority for the latest verified information.
Facebook also offered the WHO as many free ads as it would need to disseminate timely and verified information to the millions of users on Facebook, while also blocking people from running ads that tried to exploit the situation by claiming to have products or services that can cure the virus.
According to Mark Zuckerberg, such claims and other conspiracy theories would be removed from Facebook.