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Facebook: Advertising

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL353, tabled on 13 January 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the dangers that may arise from Facebook not strengthening regulation of political advertisements.

Answered on

22 January 2020

The Government regularly engages with social media platforms, including Facebook, on a number of issues. Whilst we welcome existing steps taken by platforms to take more responsibility for the content on their platforms, we are clear that these steps do not go far enough to protect users online.

The Online Harms White Paper sets out our plans for world-leading legislation to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online. This will make companies more responsible for their users’ safety online, especially children and other vulnerable groups, and will help to build trust in digital markets.

The Online Harms White Paper proposes that under the new regulatory framework for online safety, companies could be required to improve transparency of political advertising, in line with requirements in electoral law. The Cabinet Office is also considering this issue as part of the Defending Democracy programme, which has been set up to protect and secure UK democratic processes and strengthen the integrity of UK elections. Last year, the Government announced a review into online advertising, which will consider the extent to which the current regulatory regime is equipped to tackle the challenges posed by rapid technological developments in advertising. Further details will be set out in due course.