Tech, Science

New Instagram Feature Helps Self Isolation A Little Easier

Instagram is ramping up its efforts to combat coronavirus-related misinformation on its platform while also giving people tools to promote healthy behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic. These new measures are in addition to the company’s existing misinformation policy, which Instagram has been actively enforcing alongside parent company Facebook over the course of the virus’s worldwide spread over the last two months.

Part of this new effort includes a new feature Instagram is calling Co-Watching, which will let you browse posts with your friends over in-app video chat. The feature can be accessed by starting a video chat through the Instagram Direct messaging tab and tapping the photo icon in the bottom left of the video chat screen. It lets you look at saved, liked, and recommended posts together as a group.

“If posts are rated false by third-party-fact checkers, we remove them from Explore and hashtag pages,” an Instagram spokesperson said in a press statement. “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.”

Prior to this new set of policies, Instagram has already begun taking action against coronavirus-related misinformation in the form of banning misleading ads for products claiming to offer cures or prevent people from contracting COVID-19 as well as temporary bans on ads and branded content promoting medical supplies like face masks and hand sanitizer. 

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