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Elections: Disinformation

Question for Cabinet Office

UIN 168914, tabled on 15 March 2021

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for Digital and Culture of 9 March 2021, Official Report, column 116WH, what role the Electoral Commission will have in tackling electoral disinformation.

Answered on

18 March 2021

The role of the Electoral Commission is to ensure that elections and referendums are run effectively and in accordance with the law, to register political parties, and to regulate donations and loans to political parties and other campaigners and their spending. The Commission has recently launched a public awareness campaign about online political advertising.

The Government is committed to introducing a digital imprints regime. It will inform voters about the source of digital campaign material. The Electoral Commission will play a central role in ensuring compliance with the regime. This will be a big step forward in making UK politics more transparent and will empower voters to make informed decisions.

Tackling disinformation in all its forms remains a key priority for the Government. As set out in the Full Government Response, the Online Safety Bill will introduce a duty of care requiring companies to address harms on their online platforms, such as misinformation and disinformation. The new laws will have robust and proportionate measures to deal with misinformation and disinformation that could cause significant physical or psychological harm to an individual. Ofcom will be the independent online harms regulator and the Bill will give Ofcom the tools it needs to understand how effectively disinformation is being addressed so that it can take action as required.

Answered by

Cabinet Office
Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.