To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress the covid-19 fake news unit has made; and what criteria he is using to evaluate the performance of that unit.
14 September 2020
The Counter Disinformation Unit was established on 5 March 2020, bringing together cross-Government monitoring and analysis capabilities. Its primary function is to provide a comprehensive picture of the extent, scope and the reach of disinformation and misinformation on Covid-19, and to work with partners to ensure appropriate action is taken.
Government has been identifying and resolving up to 70 incidents a week, often false narratives containing multiple misleading claims coordinating with departments across Whitehall to deploy an appropriate response. This can include a direct rebuttal on social media, working with platforms to remove harmful content, and ensuring public health campaigns are promoted through reliable sources. A range of criteria from engagement rates to speed of response is used to evaluate the effectiveness of the actions taken.