Instagram today announced that it would remove coronavirus-related content and accounts from recommendations and its “explore” option, unless posted by or belonging to credible health organizations.
Facebook's company also announced the following steps to help people access accurate information, stay safe, and stay connected:
- Include more educational resources in Instagram Search
- Add stickers to promote accurate information
- Roll out the donation sticker in more countries and helping people find relevant nonprofits to support
- Create a shared story to help those practicing social distancing connect with others, using a “Stay Home” sticker
- Launch a new way to browse Instagram with friends over video chat
People who search for information related to the coronavirus or COVID-19 on Instagram will start to see an educational message connecting them to resources from the World Health Organization and local health ministries. This feature will be made vailable globally over the coming weeks.
Instagram is launching new stickers to help people share accurate COVID-19 information in Stories. These new features include reminders to wash your hands, distance yourself from others and more. These will be available in the camera in the coming days.
Over the past few weeks Instagram has added a notice at the top of feed for countries affected by COVID-19. The notice includes reliable resources from expert health organizations. In addition, Instagram has been highlighting resources from these organizations when people view related hashtags.
In addition to promoting credible information throughout the Instagram app, the company is making several changes to reduce the spread of misinformation.
Instagram will remove COVID-19 accounts from account recommendations, and is working to remove some COVID-19 related content from Explore, unless posted by a credible health organization.
To prevent people from exploiting this public health emergency Instagram has already put several new policies into effect. The company has prohibited misleading ads for products that refer to COVID-19 in ways intended to create urgency, guarantee cures or prevent people from contracting it, and has temporarily banned advertisements and branded content that promote certain medical supplies, including face masks. In addition, Instagram removed the ability to search for COVID-19 related AR effects unless they were developed in partnership with a recognized health organization.
To help people support relief efforts, Instagram is making our Donation sticker available in additional countries and adding a new COVID-19 section so people can quickly identify relevant nonprofits.
To help people stay connected, Instagram has launched Co-Watching, a new feature that allows you to view Instagram posts together with your friends over video chat. You can start a video chat by tapping the video chat icon in the Direct inbox or in an existing Direct thread, then view saved, liked and suggested photos/videos by tapping the photo icon in the bottom left corner in an ongoing video chat.
Finally, Instagram has launched a “Stay Home” sticker. Any accounts you follow who use the sticker will be added to a shared Instagram story, allowing you to see how others are practicing social distancing at this time.
Last week, Twitter barred users from posting misleading information about the new coronavirus, including denials of expert guidance and encouragement of fake treatments.
Facebook, earlier this month, said it would provide free advertisements to the World Health Organization (WHO) as it seeks to ensure users are not misinformed about the virus, its risks and how to react to it.