Instagram removing Coronavirus-related content not shared by health organisations to curb fake news

 Instagram, popular global social networking service, is now removing coronavirus-related content and recommendations to stop the spread of false claims and panic.

This move is part of Instagram’s efforts towards working to end misinformation about the COVID-19 virus from spreading on their platforms, according to its blog post.

It said the Facebook-owned app is now removing coronavirus-related content and accounts from recommendations and ‘Explore’ unless posted by or belonging to credible health organisations.

Users who search for information related to the outbreak will be presented with an educational message connecting them to resources from the World Health Organisation and local health ministries.

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.

The move comes a week after Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a phone press conference from the comfort of his home to announce the firm’s new ‘Coronavirus Information Center.’

The hub will appear at the top of users’ Feeds with authoritative information from organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Zuckerberg had said during the call that “the top priority for us has been making sure people can get access to good trustworthy information about the outbreak from reliable sources.

“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,” it said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the social media has been awash with various claims and information on its prevention.

However, Nigerian authorities have advised citizens to abide by information from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, the Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant health institutions. (NAN)