Defending Democracy Taskforce: Disinformation

Home Office written question – answered at on 8 February 2024.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Security)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Defending Democracy Taskforce is taking to help reduce disinformation at the next general election.

Photo of Thomas Tugendhat Thomas Tugendhat Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

The Government is committed to safeguarding the UK’s elections and already has established systems and processes in place, to protect the democratic integrity of the UK.

DSIT is the lead department on artificial intelligence and is part of the Defending Democracy Taskforce which has a mandate to safeguard our democratic institutions and processes from the full range of threats. The Taskforce ensures we have a robust system in place to rapidly respond to any threats during election periods.

Furthermore, the Online Safety Act places new requirements on social media platforms to swiftly remove illegal misinformation and disinformation - including artificial intelligence-generated deepfakes - as soon as they become aware of it. The Act also updates Ofcom’s statutory media literacy duty to require it to take tangible steps to prioritise the public's awareness of and resilience to misinformation and disinformation online. This includes enabling users to establish the reliability, accuracy, and authenticity of content.

Finally, the threat to democracy from artificial intelligence was discussed at the AI Safety Summit in November 2023, reinforcing the Government’s commitment to international collaboration on this shared challenge.

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