Zuby

Instagram

Instagram fact-checked Zuby's observation that some people are afraid to breathe without masks: Zuby, a rapper, author and podcaster popular in conservative circles, posted a screenshot of a tweet claiming that "[t]he media actually managed to convince millions of people to be afraid of the air." Zuby captioned the screenshot, saying "[t]here are likely over a billion people in the world right now who are literally afraid to breathe fresh air unimpeded and who get triggered by seeing smiling faces...It's horrible and the media is responsible for creating such a level of hysteria and distrust of fellow humans." He added, "[i]t used to be 'healthy until proven sick' but now it's 'sick until proven healthy'. People need to understand that's a disease in itself." Instagram fact checker Logically, claimed his post was false because "COVID-19 is not an airborne disease." The fact-checker ignored the fact that Zuby's post was a speculative observation and proceeded to assert how COVID-19 spreads. At the very end of the fact-check, Logically explained that although COVID-19 is technically not an airborne disease, "the media are not wrong in cautioning against the consequences of not wearing masks or maintaining social distancing measures to avoid the spread of the virus." The allegedly false content that was contained in Zuby's post remains unclear. Fact-checked posts lose exposure on Facebook feeds as they are negatively affected by the platform's algorithm. According to Facebook, users fail to click through a fact-check interstitial to see the post 95% of the time. Instagram, owned by Facebook, likely sees a similar effect.