Instagram announced today new measures meant to help curb the spread of misinformation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). One of these steps is cracking down on AR effects related to the virus.
The service will now forbid users from searching for COVID-19 AR effects on its platform. However, there's an exception for this type of effect created by developers in collaboration with recognized health organizations.
We will no longer allow people to search for COVID-19 related AR effects on Instagram, unless they were developed in partnership with a recognized health organization. This is part of our ongoing effort to better connect people with credible health information.— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) March 13, 2020
Instagram will also start displaying coronavirus-related information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health organizations. These pieces of information will show up at the top of its Feed in some territories. Last week, Instagram's parent company, Facebook, granted WHO unlimited free ads as part of the fight against the pandemic. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also vowed to work with other health organizations around the world to provide timely and accurate information to users.
Facebook's Spark AR studio also announced in a post on the social networking site that it has removed AR effects published recently and will reject new ones that "claim to predict, diagnose, treat, or cure coronavirus".