Coronavirus misinformation is spreading all over social media


The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. Fact-checkers, medical experts and academics reviewing coronavirus-related misinformation said some of the most viral hoaxes have concerned vaccines that claim to prevent or cure the disease and that would soon be commercially accessible to the public. — CDC/AP

The new coronavirus roiling financial markets and prompting travel bans is taking on a life of its own on the Internet, once again putting US-based social media companies on the defensive about their efforts to curb the spread of false or dangerous information.

Researchers and journalists have documented a growing number of cases of misinformation about the virus, ranging from racist explanations for the disease’s origin to false claims about miracle cures. Conspiracy theorists, trolls and cynics hoping to use the panic to boost traffic to their own accounts have all contributed to the cloud of bad information.

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