Disinformation: Coronavirus

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 6th May 2020.

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Photo of Henry Smith Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to prevent false information on covid-19 being spread on the internet.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State

The Government takes the issue of misinformation and disinformation very seriously. It is vitally important that the public has accurate information.

The Counter Disinformation Unit brings together cross-Government monitoring and analysis capabilities. The Unit’s primary function is to provide a comprehensive picture of the extent, scope and impact of disinformation and misinformation regarding Covid-19.

We are working closely with social media platforms to help them identify and remove incorrect claims about the virus, in line with their terms and conditions, as well as promote authoritative sources of information. We are also working with strategic communications experts to ensure that we are prepared to respond to disinformation campaigns where necessary.

The Government is also running a counter disinformation communications campaign, which aims to increase audience resilience by educating and empowering those who see, inadvertently share and are affected by false and misleading information.

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