The entire world is facing the ill effects of the deadly Coronavirus which has infected around 423,330 people worldwide and killed around 18,900 lives.
In the wake of the current situation, many social media companies have started taking efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19. One such recent addition is Instagram.
Instagram has started taking helpful steps to control the spread of misinformation related to Coronavirus. Apart from this it also aims to spread awareness about the health measures and precautionary measures, Social distancing being one of the biggest focus. Instagram has taken new initiatives under its Misinformation policy to avoid anyone from spreading rumors and incorrect information about Coronavirus. The same policy is being actively followed and enforced by its parent company Facebook.
To extend a helping hand during difficult times Instagram has recently introduced a new feature called Co-Watching. The recently introduced feature gives you the power to use in-app video chat to browse posts with your friends.
It is available on the Instagram Direct messaging tab and users can access it by clicking on the photo icon button placed on the video chat screen on the bottom left side. You can use it to check and see liked, recommended and saved videos together with your friends while being socially distant.
To Stop the circulation of misinformation and spread awareness about precautionary measures Instagram has taken the below steps.
- Under its new misinformation policy, Instagram has added an educational alerts tab which gets reflected on the top of all search results. Users can connect with the WHO (World Health Organization) through the search results.
- Instagram has gone more aggressive in the removal of posts giving fake information.
- It has also taken strict measures to moderate the availability of COVID-19 related information on its Explore tab.
- Apart from this Instagram has also reduced the ranking of posts publishing content which does not meet the prescribed standards and benchmarks.
- It has also added several new stickers that show the most recent and accurate information and data given by health authorities. One such sticker says “Stay Home” which aims at promoting social distancing.
Few other examples of these stickers are:
- Freelancers: If you are a freelancer who is working from home for quite some time. You can share your individual learning and work strategy using these stickers.
- Parents: Parents can share their experience of having kids a home and how they are adapting to the situation.
- Fitness Enthusiasts: The outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus has forced the gyms to close down around the globe. Fitness enthusiasts and trainers can take the help of Instagram to share useful videos of indoor exercises and yoga.
- Professional: Work from home environment is new for office going professionals. Working people can share various tips on how to maintain productivity levels and easy adaptation techniques.
A spokesperson from Instagram recently quoted in a statement to The Verge that “All the posts and published content which are fake and not approved by third-party checkers will be taken down by the authorities.”
Apart from this he also said that all fake news and rumors posted by world health institutes and local health authorities will also be unflagged as they can harm public sentiments and scare them.
Earlier to launching the new feature and laying a redefined set of policies, Instagram has already started to take necessary actions to limit the spread of misinformation related to COVID-19. In addition to this, it has also banned the publishing of misleading ads and products. These ads are mainly related to products that claim to increase immunity and safeguard people from the deadly coronavirus infection.
Various marketing ads promoting the sale of hand sanitizers and face masks have also been taken down by Instagram. Instagram in its efforts to spread awareness about the deadly Coronavirus has also removed users’ ability to search for reality effects related to COVID-19. Only the reports and news published by authentic health authorities like the World Health Organisation are allowed.
Let’s join hands to fight the deadly Coronavirus. Instagram has started taking initiatives to prevent its users from spreading fake information, now it’s our turn.
Wash your hands regularly, avoid going in crowded places and practice social distancing to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Image Source: Instagram