COVID-19 Misinformation spreads like wildfire. Social media giants are working to put on an end to all the falsehoods online, starting with filters and augmented reality (AR) effects.  The novel pandemic has put everyone on high alert. Ads are flooded with all kinds of merchandise that promise to help prevent the infection, and news feeds are packed with all kinds of rumors. But, recently, one particular statement has captured attention.  World-famous social media platforms like Instagram and the search engine Bing, are working on removing all filters and effects that make light of the epidemic and provide more reliable information people can depend on. Here is how Instagram & Bing are cracking down on COVID-19 Misinformation . [caption id="attachment_3678" align="alignnone" width="2000"] Health worker wearing a respiratory mask, holding the Coronavirus Covid-19 blood test sample[/caption]

Instagram Is Removing COVID-19 Filters

Millions of people use social media to spread COVID-19 misinformation, but one of the most popular ways to get to it is with entertainment, AR effects, and filters to be exact. Here is how Instagram & Bing are cracking down on Coronavirus. Instagram has long been known for its unique filters that creators get to publish on their platform. But, on the 13th of March, 2020, Instagram announced they will remove some of these filters for good. Anything that claims to predict, treat, diagnose, spread or cure COVID-19 will be removed. Unless these filters have been approved or developed by WHO. 

What Makes These Filters so Troubling?

Soon after the disease was recognized, social media platforms were flooded with countless filters on the coronavirus. They all featured a different design ranging from a 3D facemask to a virus model. Some even “determined” who would die or contract the virus with flashy toggles and texts. Users also had access to quizzes that directly influenced the “panic-buying”.   While these filters are made for entertainment, they spread unnecessary panic and hysteria. The same thing applied to Instagram hashtags. Aside from the filter effects, Instagram also directed people to informative sites on the virus they could search via hashtags. But, some of these hashtags were spreading fake news.  In January, the platform restricted and blocked all access to hashtags with fake news and removed any sites or posts that promised to cure or prevent the disease.

Bing Takes the Initiative

With the constant flow of fake news, the hysteria and panic skyrocketed. They make the disease appear worse than it actually is. As a result, people share and spread false news unbacked by research that only ends up creating more panic. The more falsehoods are made available to the public, the more difficult it becomes to grasp the epidemic. So, they end up struggling to comprehend the information posted on Instagram. This becomes a real problem. In an effort to bring in more accurate and reliable information, the Microsoft Bing team initiated a new web portal on March 15 designed to keep a tab on all infection rates on the coronavirus. With adequate access to this type of information, people can get a clear outlook on the disease and the way it spreads across the globe. 

Is This Strategy Any Useful?

The way how Instagram & Bing are cracking down on Coronavirus (COVID-19) may not seem impactful, but it’s a step in the right direction. Yes, the social media platform may indeed be criticized for removing entertainment pieces. But, the resources invested in these strategic steps do have a solid purpose.  They are meant to stop the misinformation and false claims so that the people will have a better grasp of the situation. With this strategy, no more fake news or merchant exploiters will be able to boost sales on Instagram.