Science

Instagram cracks down on coronavirus filters that claim to predict and treat disease

Instagram users have designed AR effects (pictured) for COVID-19, most of which have now been removed by the platform due to misinformation issues

Instagram cracks down on AR effects linked to coronavirus that claim to predict and treat disease

  • Instagram removes popular coronavirus filters from its platform
  • Filters supposed to predict or shed light on the virus
  • It will still allow filters manufactured in partnership with legitimate health organizations
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Instagram is trying to prevent disinformation about coronaviruses from spreading on its platform.

On Friday, the company announced via its AR creator group on Facebook that it is removing AR effects that claim to treat or predict the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

In a statement on the group, Instagram says it has “ deleted previously published effects and rejects all new effects, which claim to predict, diagnose, treat or cure coronavirus. ”

Instagram users have designed AR effects (pictured) for COVID-19, most of which have now been removed by the platform due to misinformation issues

The decisions come after a flood of coronavirus filters found its way to the platform, ranging from overlaying a mask on the face to adding 3D models of the virus to its video.

Some offensive filters now removed by Instagram have superimposed a box on a video that “ determines whether you will contract or die from coronavirus ”, with a blinking text that switches between “ no, I’m safe (for now) ” and “ yes, goodbye ”.

Another filter, created by smirnov.mikita, places the word “Coronavirus” in neon lights on the user’s face, while another user-created gioacchinonmar filter covers users with black-sided wounds.

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However, the platform claims that it does not completely prohibit the creation of AR filters linked to coroanviruses.

Instagram is also directing people to legitimate information on its site to help avoid potential hysteria during the pandemic

Instagram is also directing people to legitimate information on its site to help avoid potential hysteria during the pandemic

It will still allow users to research the effects of COVID-19, but only if they have been “developed in partnership with a recognized health organization” such as the WHO.

Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, has also joined forces to combat misinformation on COVID-19 by providing WHO with “ as many free ads as necessary ” to help disseminate legitimate information.

It has also worked to remove false allegations and conspiracies to ensure that users are not misinformed about the virus and its risks, including advertisements that attempt to exploit users by hawking face masks that advertise a “ limited supply ” to stimulate sales.

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