Instagram announced today that it will implement measures to prevent the spread of fake news about the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, in addition to highlighting useful information for prevention against the virus. The company said users in countries most affected by the coronavirus will see a disclaimer on the Instagram app with links from the World Health Organization.
Instagram will also provide local government data about the coronavirus outbreak, so that users can have easy access to official information. “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. — Go to who.int” says the message.
The app will also alert users when a content is reported as false by fact-checking agencies, but it doesn’t stop there. Several users were recently sharing Stories with AR filters that make jokes about the coronavirus, since anyone can create these effects. From now on, the rules regarding those filters will change.
An Instagram spokesman told TechCrunch that AR filters related to the coronavirus will no longer be allowed on the social network, since they can spread misinformation and even offend people who have been affected by the disease. TechCrunch notes that Snapchat is also adopting similar practices for its app.
To help people get relevant and up-to-date resources, we will start showing more information from @WHO and local health ministries at the top of Instagram’s Feed in some countries. pic.twitter.com/czAHYItlEx
— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) March 13, 2020
All these changes are effective as of today in the latest Instagram app version. The coronavirus outbreak has also forced other apps to make some changes, such as Pokémon Go.
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