The Novel Coronavirus has taken the world by storm and as countries scramble to fight the virus, the tech giants are fighting a totally different battle. Ever since the outbreak became global, tech companies are fighting to take down fake news and misinformation about the novel Coronavirus.
Now, Instagram is taking steps to curb the spread of misinformation on the platform. Earlier today, the company announced that it has decided to take down any coronavirus related AR filters and it will not be approving new ones. The list of banned AR filters includes those that promise to “predict, diagnose, treat, or cure coronavirus.” Instagram is also not allowing users to search for COVID-19 AR effects unless they are developed by a health organization.
Across Facebook we’re taking steps to limit misinformation and harmful content, and help connect people with accurate updates related to the coronavirus outbreak. Today, we wanted to let you know about new Spark AR changes we’re making to support this ongoing effort.First, we’ve removed previously-published effects and are rejecting all new effects, which claim to predict, diagnose, treat, or cure coronavirus.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.
Moreover, Instagram is also directing users towards official sources like the WHO for more information.
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
Back in January, Facebook also censored certain hashtags to curb the spread of misinformation on the platform. Last month, Facebook also started banning ads that promised to cure the infection or were spreading fake news about the virus.