Instagram in its effort to encourage social distancing has introduced Co-watching – a new feature that allows friends to chat and browse through feed posts on a video chat or group video call
This new measure is in addition to the existing misinformation policy of the company on coronavirus.
Since the outbreak of the global pandemic and the undue advantage people have been taking, Instagram has been ramping up effort to fight coronavirus-related misinformation on its platform. The company has also been giving tools to promote healthy behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far, Instagram, alongside its parent company, Facebook, has been actively enforcing these measures.
Giving that social distancing has been enforced by the government of many countries, Instagram has found a way to make staying at home more interesting for its users, with the launch of the Co Watching feature.
This feature allows the user and his/her friends to look at liked, saved and posts recommended by Instagram together as a group.
HOW TO USE THE CO-WATCHING FEATURE
- Open your Instagram app
- Go to the Direct messaging app
- Start a video chat
- Tap the photo icon in the bottom left
The misinformation measures taken by the company include
- Educational alerts at the top of search results
- Stickers promoting accurate information from validated Health Authorities e.g. Stay at Home sticker, wash your hands’ sticker, etc.
- Removing unofficial coronavirus accounts from recommendations and also remove content that is not from a credible health organization from Explore.
An Instagram spokesperson mentioned that “If posts are rated false by third-party fact-checkers, we remove them from Explore and hashtag pages. We also remove false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations and local health authorities as having the potential to cause harm to people who believe them.”
Beyond this, Instagram has been taking stringent actions against misleading ads for products claiming to offer cures to the COVID 19. There is also a temporary ban on ads and branded content promoting medical materials such as hand sanitizers and face masks.
Also, except created in partnership with a recognized health organization, Instagram has removed the ability to search for coronavirus themed augmented reality effect