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Instagram removes fake news about coronavirus spread in Russia

The only platform that is still to delete false data is YouTube, according to the watchdog

MOSCOW, March 24. /TASS/. Instagram has taken down posts containing false information regarding the scale of the coronavirus spread in Russia, complying with the official demand of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, the press service for Roskomnadzor (Internet watchdog) told TASS on Tuesday.

"Instagram complied with the demand to remove outlawed content," the press service stressed.

Therefore, the only platform that is still to meet the demand is YouTube. The watchdog has yet to unveil possible measures that can be taken against the platform.

Earlier, Facebook agreed to delete false information that is deemed socially important which undermines public order and security.

The watchdog earlier said it was braced to take strict measures including blocking and revoking licenses of mass media outlets for disseminating fakes about coronavirus in Russia.

Russia’s Investigative Committee informed that perpetrators can be fined up to 3 million rubles ($38,205) for publicizing false reports about the scale of coronavirus spread in Russia.

Coronavirus pandemic

In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in more than 190 countries, including Russia.

On March 11, the WHO declared the outbreak a global pandemic. As of now, over 400,410 people have been infected around the world and more than 17,450 have died. Russia has identified 495 cases as yet, 22 patients have recovered. The Russian government has launched an Internet hotline to keep the country informed about the coronavirus situation.