In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a lot of misinformation going around about the respiratory illness, particularly denials of expert guidance and encouragement of fake treatments. Facebook-owned Instagram stated on Tuesday that it would remove content about the virus and accounts from recommendations and its "explore" tab unless the information is provided by a credible health organization, according to Reuters. The firm stated:
We will also start to downrank content in feed and Stories that has been rated false by third-party-fact checkers.
Similarly, last week, Twitter prohibited users from uploading misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic on the platform, tightening its rules about speech, which otherwise are deemed relaxed. Facebook, which owns Instagram, announced earlier this month that it would give free ad space to the World Health Organization (WHO), ensuring users know what precautions to take in order to curb the virus.
Companies have offered assistance to governments globally, including donations to countries worst-struck with the pandemic, and ventilator production to meet the rapidly increasing demands in hospitals.