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Social Media: Advertising

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL17880, tabled on 26 September 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that social media companies use image recognition software to identify and block the advertising of illegal drugs.

Answered on

8 October 2019

A robust law enforcement response is a fundamental part of the government's drug strategy and we are taking coordinated action to tackle illegal drugs alongside associated criminal activity. Law enforcement agencies continue to work with internet service providers to shut down UK-based websites found to be committing offences such as selling drugs controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

The government has been clear that more needs to be done to tackle online harms, including sale of illegal goods. That is why the Government published the Online Harms White Paper, which sets out our plans for world-leading legislation to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online and hold companies to account for tackling a wide range of online harms.

In February this year, the government also announced its intention to review how online advertising is regulated in the UK, looking at how well the current regime is equipped to tackle the challenges posed by technological developments seen in online advertising.