US - Social media networks are taking steps to address false information about the coronavirus on their sites. Facebook, Twitter and Tiktok are among the firms working to provide links to accurate information.

The number of posts containing misinformation about the spread and alleged cures for the coronavirus has soared. So far more than 250 people have died as a result of the outbreak and cases have been reported in 22 countries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus a public health emergency.

social media networks have rules banning the posting of hateful or defamatory information. But following a backlash networks began taking action.

False information on social media has led to mob violence in several counties and has also helped spread unfounded fears about the safety of vaccines.

Social networks are now facing pressure to ensure their platforms don’t incite panic or cause harm as authorities try to address the coronavirus outbreak.

So what are they doing? Facebook says it will limit the spread of false information about the coronavirus by removing “false claims or conspiracy theories”.

In a blog post, Facebook said it would use its existing fact-checkers to review and expose misinformation. The firm also said it would notify individuals who had shared or were trying to share information that had been flagged as false.

Facebook said it was focusing on “claims that are designed to discourage treatment” including posts about false cures.

One post from the Philippines advised Facebook users to “keep your throat moist” and avoid spicy food to avoid becoming infected with the coronavirus. That post was shared over 16,000 times and had over 400 comments.