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Instagram steps up effort to curb COVID-19 disinformation

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San Francisco (AFP)

Instagram said Tuesday it was ramping up efforts to promote reliable content about the coronavirus pandemic and stop the spread of misinformation on the image-centric social network.

The move by the Facebook-owned service with more than one billion users worldwide comes amid a scramble by social networks to deliver verified information and stamp out hoaxes.

"People who search for information related to the coronavirus or COVID-19 on Instagram will start to see an educational message connecting them to resources from the World Health Organization and local health ministries," Instagram said in a blog post.

"We are working quickly to make this available globally over the coming weeks."

Instagram said it would also add "stickers" that signify verified coronavirus information and would remove content about health claims "unless posted by a credible health organization."

The social network also said it would offer links to donations for nonprofit organizations and offer tips for social distancing.

The initiative follows similar efforts by Facebook on its core social platform as well as on its Messenger and WhatsApp services and by other platforms such as YouTube and Twitter.

More than two billion people use at least one of Facebook's "family" of applications daily.

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