With the rise of access to information comes also the access to and the spreading of misinformation. The misinformation available online ranges from small, harmless rumors to misinformation about something as serious as coronavirus.
The misinformation spreads faster through various online social interaction platforms. Sometimes this could prove to be fatal. Recently, Facebook announced that it is taking firm steps to curb the spread of misinformation. Facebook-owned Instagram too is edging towards that direction. Ideally, the users should be held accountable if they are found guilty of spreading fake news.
Many social media platforms, in general, are providing information about COVID-19, and any post on Facebook about the virus is accompanied by a label. This tactic is also used by Twitter, and it tells the users if the information provided is authentic or not. Same goes for Instagram as it also gave the same label.
Ever since the outbreak occurred, online platforms were smeared with a lot of fake news and misinformation in general about the virus. To counter this issue, Instagram will now direct users to visit websites such as MOH, WHO, and/or other related sites that provide authentic information.
Instagram’s official tweet regarding this reads, “With more countries around the world seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, we’re launching two features to help people stay up-to-date and get information from credible sources directly on Instagram.” It further says, “First, in places where cases are surging, people will see a prompt at the top of their Feed, connecting them to health authorities such as the CDC, WHO or their local counterparts.”
Instagram will not limit its new initiative to only provide authentic information, it will also use GPS information by displaying notifications about the COVID virus if and when the users are in areas that report a high number of cases of the virus.
Instagram is hoping that this will help in stopping the spread of misinformation and fake news. Not only that, but Instagram also uses GPS information by displaying notifications about COVID-19 if users are in areas with high cases.
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