Social Media: Coronavirus

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 7th April 2020.

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Photo of Lord Blencathra Lord Blencathra Chair, Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, Chair, Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to discuss with social networking companies what steps they are taking to restrict (1) comments by, and (2) the accounts of, users with high numbers of followers which give (1) false information, or (2) advice counter to official medical advice, about COVID-19.

Photo of Baroness Barran Baroness Barran The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Government is working very closely with social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Google in response to Covid-19. This is helping us understand what is happening on their platforms and the steps they are taking so we can effectively tackle misinformation and disinformation together. It also allows social media platforms to be informed where harmful information is identified.

Social media companies have taken a range of steps to limit misinformation and disinformation on their platforms. This has included updating their policies in response to Covid-19, to enable them to take action on false and misleading content where it has the potential to cause harm.

Alongside the removal or downranking of misinformation and disinformation, platforms are also working with Government and the NHS to take action to promote accurate information. Measures have been introduced across almost all major platforms to ensure users see accurate information on Covid-19, including links to NHS and other authoritative sources.

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