Coronavirus: Instagram cracks down on filters that claim to 'cure' coronavirus

Rob Waugh
Instagram has blocked filters which offered misleading information about the virus (Picture Getty)

Instagram is cracking down on augmented reality filters which peddle false claims to diagnose or cure coronavirus, the company has announced. 

It said that it had removed AR effects related to the virus and would reject requests for filters that claimed to “predict, diagnose, treat, or cure coronavirus”.

Some filters previously offered quizzes on whether users have the virus.

The Verge reported that the social network has now banned searches for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

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Instagram directs people to reputable information about the virus when they search related terms. 

The social network also blocks and restricts hashtags that spread misinformation. 

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Facebook previously said in a blog post that it would remove content about the virus “with false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organisations and local health authorities”.

Facebook said such content would violate its ban on misinformation leading to “physical harm”.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said anyone with symptoms of the coronavirus should isolate along with their entire household for 14 days.

Home working, he said, should begin in earnest.

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“We need people to start working from home where they possibly can,” Johnson said. “And you should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues.”