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Instagram and Facebook usage surges as both services roll out Covid-19 information campaigns

Facebook and Instagram have rolled out an anti-misinformation around Covid-19, as both services see a huge surge in the number of people accessing them.

Instagram and Facebook are taking steps to provide credible Covid-19 information on their platforms. Source: Supplied

The new measures are aimed at making sure people can access credible information about the virus, supporting global health experts and stopping misinformation and harmful content.

A new Stay Home sticker on Instagram combines the Instagram stories of those who use it into one larger story, and it appears first in the list of stories.

Third-party fact checking has been introduced on Facebook, carried out by the Australian Associated Press for stories about New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

False claims and conspiracy theories which have been flagged by global health organisations will now be actively removed from Facebook.

On Instagram, only credible health organisations' posts about Covid-19 will be promoted, and Instagram is working on removing it from the Explore tab also, unless it comes from a credible source.

People who try to run ads on either platform to exploit the situation will face having their account blocked.

Those include ads or Marketplace listing for medical masks, hand sanitiser, surface disinfecting wipes and Covid-19 test kits.

Meanwhile, both platforms have experienced a strong surge in activity on the back of Covid-19.

In New Zealand, Instagram Live views have increase by more than 80 per cent in the past week.

In the countries hit hardest by the virus, Messenger traffic has increased by more than 50 per cent over the past month.

More information about the measures being taken by Facebook are available here, and by Instagram here.