October 29, 2018
The Select Committee said that its interim report warned of a “democratic crisis founded on the manipulation of personal data, which targeted users with pernicious views, particularly during elections and referenda”. The Committee’s recommendations to Government were aimed at tackling the growing threat from disinformation and fake news.
The Committee notes that only three of the report’s forty-two recommendations were accepted outright by the Government, with four recommendations rejected. In addition, it said, the Government gave no response to a further nine recommendations.
Damian Collins MP, Chair of the Committee, said: “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.”
Mr Collins said that a more coordinated approach is needed 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”, he said.
The final report from the Committee is expected in December 2018. To read the Committee’s reaction to the Government response in full, click here.