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Social Media: Artificial Intelligence

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL1544, tabled on 11 February 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to regulate the algorithms used by social media companies to promote content.

Answered on

26 February 2020

The Government published the initial response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation on 12 February 2020. This response confirmed that the Government is developing legislation on online harms to introduce a statutory duty of care, overseen and enforced by an independent regulator. This will require social media companies to have appropriate systems and processes in place to deal with harmful content on their services to keep their users safe. As set out in the White Paper, the regulator will have the power to request explanations about the way algorithms operate, where necessary to establish that a company is fulfilling its duty of care. The Government will publish full details of the final policy position in the Spring, ahead of legislation.

On a related topic, the Government noted the Committee for Standards in Public Life's recent report on Artificial Intelligence, and will respond to its recommendations in due course.