Stepping up its efforts to curb the spread of misinformation regarding the novel coronavirus, Instagram on March 24 announced that all the users who search for information related to COVID-19 would be redirected to an "educational message' connecting them to World Health Organisation and local health ministries. According to reports, the new updates would be made available worldwide in the coming few weeks.
In a blog post, the Facebook-owned picture sharing website said that in addition to this, it would also include more educational resources to Instagram search and stickers to promote accurate information. It was also removing all COVID-19 accounts which were not related to credible health organisations like WHO etc.
Also, in a bid to support social distancing, Instagram added that it would soon launch a new way to browse the website with friends over video chat an also create 'shared story'. I was also set to roll out more donation stickers.
The company is pushing the changes in a bid to refrain people from spreading misinformation which has led to many coronavirus related myths. Meanwhile, Faheem Younusm a Chief Quality Officer and Chief of Infectious Diseases at the University of Maryland took to Twitter to bust some of the most common myths about coronavirus.
The top myths included -- 'coronavirus will go away in Summer months'; 'if you can hold your breath for ten seconds without discomfort, you don’t have COVID-19'; 'since COVID-19 testing is unavailable, we should donate blood as the blood bank will test for it'; 'coronavirus lives in the throat, so drink lots of water so the virus is pushed into the stomach where the acid will kill it'; 'all this social distancing is an overreaction, you’ll see that the virus won’t cause much damage'; 'hand sanitizers are better than soap and water' amongst others.