MPs accuse government of not doing enough to tackle 'fake news'

Tyrone Stewart

Houses of ParliamentMPs have accused the government of not taking the threat of ‘fake news’ and disinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms seriously enough.  

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee issued a report back in July of this year. This report warned of a potential democratic crisis due to personal data being manipulated to target people with disinformation.

To counter this, the report presented the government with several recommendations. However, the government has responded by outright accepting only three of the 42 recommendations laid out – with four rejected and nine yet to receive any response.

Recommendations rejected by the government include imposing a levy on tech companies to fund education in digital literacy and changing the rules on political campaigning.

“The government’s response to our interim report on disinformation and ‘fake news’ is disappointing and a missed opportunity. It uses other ongoing investigations to further delay desperately needed announcements on the ongoing issues of harmful and misleading content being spread through social media,” said Damian Collins, chair of the committee.

“We need to see a more coordinated approach across government to combat campaigns of disinformation being organised by Russian agencies seeking to disrupt and undermine our democracy. The government’s response gives us no real indication of what action is being taken on this important issue.”