27 March 2020
Instagram is the latest social media platform to announce steps with the goal of reducing Coronavirus misinformation spreading. It has joined WhatsApp which revealed a couple of features recently. Instagram has announced a total of six steps that it thinks will be helpful in ensuring that only correct and accurate information is shared.
The first step is tweaks made to Instagram search results whenever someone searches for Coronavirus or related terms. It will now show the official World Health Organization (WHO) and Unicef accounts at the top. It will show a message suggesting users rely on WHO for most up-to-date information on the global epidemic. A similar notice will also be visible at the top of the home feed.
As for reducing the spread of misinformation, Instagram will remove unofficial or untrustworthy accounts related to COVID-19 from the platform. Even the Explore section will not show any content related to the pandemic unless it is from a credible source. It will further downrank any such post in Feed and Stories that has been found to be fake by third-party fact-checkers.
Instagram has said that Donate sticker's availability will be expanded to more countries. It is a sticker that can be added to Stories and can be used for finding nearby non-profit organizations that are raising funds for Coronavirus. It has said all the organizations will receive 100% of the money raised through the sticker. It has further added stickers like Stay Home, wash your hands, and distance yourself from others to help spread awareness.
Lastly, Instagram has added the ability to explore posts with friends via video call on the app. A user needs to video call his friend like they would do usually and tap the photo icon in the bottom left corner. This new icon will be visible only when there is an ongoing video call. It will allow all the participants to see saved, liked, and suggested photos/videos together.