Online media platform Instagram has announced they have started removing coronavirus-related content and accounts from recommendations and ‘Explore’ unless posted by credible health organizations.
The Facebook-owned app said the move is to stop false claims and conspiracy theories that have been flagged by authorities from causing harm to the public during the pandemic.
According to the social media giants, users who search for information related to the coronavirus will be presented with an educational message connecting them to resources from the World Health Organization and local health ministries.
When they also search in Explore, they will see reputable sources and pages from the World Health Organization, United Nations Children’s Fund and other official organizations.
Instagram says it is ‘working quickly to make this available globally over the coming weeks.’
‘We will also start to downrank content in feed and Stories that has been rated false by third-party-fact checkers,’ the photo-sharing platform added.
The move comes a week after Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the firm’s new ‘Coronavirus Information Center’ during a phone press conference from his home on Wednesday ( Mar.18).
Zuckerberg said when users search for content related to the outbreak, the hub will appear at the top of users’ Feeds with authoritative information from organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the CDC.
‘The top priority for us has been making sure people can get access to good trustworthy information about the outbreak from reliable sources,’ Zuckerberg said during the call.
‘During a pandemic we are seeing hoaxes convincing people who are sick not to get treatment or protect people around them.’
‘We’ve seen one hoax that encourages people if you’re sick to drink bleach to cure it.
‘That’s terrible, that’s going to cause imminent harm.’