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Internet: Disinformation

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 185286, tabled on 21 April 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to tackle conspiracy groups that share misinformation online.

Answered on

26 April 2021

The Government takes the issue of disinformation very seriously and DCMS is leading work across Government to tackle it. In response to the harmful disinformation and misinformation relating to Covid-19 we stood up the Cross-Whitehall Counter Disinformation Unit on 5 March 2020, which brings together cross-Government monitoring and analysis capabilities.

We are working closely with social media platforms to help them to quickly identify and respond to potentially harmful content on their platforms, including unfounded conspiracy theories, in line with their terms and conditions.

We are also working with industry to support the introduction of systems and processes that promote authoritative sources of information. We have seen positive steps taken by social media platforms to curtail the spread of harmful and misleading narratives. Platforms have updated their terms of service and made technical changes to their products, including the addition of labels and warning messages which provide additional context and information on content containing disputed or misleading information related to Covid-19. We welcome those moves, but more action is needed to further limit the spread of misinformation on their platforms - particularly where this could result in real-world harm.