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The Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform with more than 1 billion users started the test earlier this week for U.S. users in its efforts to connect users with the latest information regarding COVID-19, a Facebook spokesperson told FOX Business.
"We're currently running a small test on Instagram connecting people with resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on posts mentioning COVID-19. This is part of our continued efforts across our platforms to help people stay informed," the spokesperson said.
Instagram also prompts users with a notification that reads, "Looking for coronavirus info? See the latest information from the [CDC] so you can help prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19)" when they look up hashtags related to the virus. The notification then prompts users with two options: "Go to cdc.gov" or "See Posts."
On my own Instagram page, I uploaded a photo with a caption mentioning COVID-19 and using the hashtags #coronavirus and #COVID19 to see if Instagram would add a label to my post, and it did.
I also received a notification from Instagram informing me that Instagram added a link to the CDC to my post.
The move comes as social media websites, including Facebook and its subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp, as well as Twitter and LinkedIn, implement new rules and features to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 misinformation.
Starting as early as January, Facebook's third-party fact-check team has been working with global health professionals to review and debunk false claims about the virus. The company lets users know when they have "liked" coronavirus hoaxes posted to the platform of more than 2 billion users, according to a regularly updated blog post.
Facebook says it has removed "hundreds of thousands" of posts containing potentially harmful COVID-19 misinformation. It has also removed events that violate local social-distancing guidelines.
In March, Facebook announced that it would also start removing "content with false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations and local health authorities that could cause harm to people who believe them," the blog post reads.
Twitter similarly said it would remove COVID-19 posts containing misinformation that could potentially cause harm.