Instagram Shuts Down Coronavirus Augmented Reality Filters

The idea is to stop the spread of misinformation

Why This Matters

Coronavirus misinformation is a serious issue, and platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, are serious about halting its spread.

Person using Instagram on a smart phone
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Instagram's Spark AR, the app that allows creators to make augmented reality filter effects for Instagram, announced that it has removed all current and new effects that "claim to predict, diagnose, treat, or cure coronavirus."

The big picture: Facebook says its been taking steps to limit misinformation and harmful content for a while now, and making sure all info on the platform (and those it owns, like Instagram) is as correct as possible, especially when it comes to the coronavirus outbreak.

What they said: The company has also said that it has disallowed searches for "COVID-19 related AR effects on Instagram, unless they were developed in partnership with a recognized health organization."

Bottom line: According to The Verge, some of the removed filters quiz users on whether they have the virus or not, and then encourage panic-buying. Instagram has already been blocking misinformation-spreading hashtags and removing posts that advertise fake cures or prevention.

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