Instagram steps up fight against misinformation about COVID-19 outbreak
Coronavirus infection is spreading rapidly and so is the misinformation related to the outbreak. Days after WhatsApp joined hands with the World Health Organization (WHO) in launching Coronavirus helpdesk chatbot that aims to prevent the spread of misinformation, Facebook announced that Instagram is taking additional measures to counter the misinformation from spreading on its platform.
In its recent blog post, the Instagram team had this to say:
“Since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency in January, we’ve taken steps to help people access accurate information, stay safe, and stay connected.”
“We will continue to prioritize safety, connecting people with accurate information, and encouraging support as the COVID-19 outbreak evolves.”
First things first, Instagram Search comprises more educational helpful resources at glance. For example, if you search for terms such as ‘coronavirus’ or ‘COVID-19’ on the Instagram app or website, it recommends users to check the official Instagram accounts of the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
Instagram is adding new stickers, which aim to promote accurate information about the COVID-19 outbreak. What’s more, Instagram is removing COVID-19 accounts from recommendations except for credible health organizations.
Aiming to support social distancing, Instagram is now encouraging users to use a “Stay Home” sticker in their stories. Apart from that, Instagram is also making the donation sticker available in more countries.
Last but not least, Instagram has launched a new video calling feature, which allows users to view Instagram posts together over video chat. Once you have started a video chat, tap the photo icon at the bottom left corner to see saved, liked, and suggested photos/videos, and watch them together with your friends.
Meanwhile, Instagram is working to introduce additional features that remind users to wash their hands, distance themselves from others, among others. These features will be available within Instagram’s camera menu in the coming days.
Tanmay loves writing about Technology, Internet, Apps, Social Media, and Cybersecurity. He also tracks OTT video content streaming space and likes to spend his weekends watching plays. You can contact him on Twitter @techtsp.