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MPs examine trusted voices and role of National Academics in combating misinformation

13 July 2022

How to ensure the public has sufficient access to authoritative information on matters of national debate is to be examined by the DCMS Committee in an inquiry looking at the role of trusted voices in combating the spread of misinformation.

The Committee will explore which organisations are the most trusted sources of information in the UK and examine the part played in the national debate of the publicly funded and independent National Academies, which represent the UK’s science, arts, engineering and medical research communities.

A report from the Committee in 2020 highlighted how online hoaxes and conspiracies about Covid-19 were allowed to spread across social media during the pandemic, and the inquiry will explore whether authoritative information is responsive enough to meet the challenge of such misinformation spreading on social media.

Chair of the DCMS Committee Julian Knight MP said:

“We have seen over the past couple of years how any vacuum in properly fact-checked information during a time of heightened uncertainty is all too easily exploited by quacks and bluffers who, whether misguided or malicious, put the lives of vulnerable people at risk by spreading and promoting dangerous misinformation.

The Royal Academies would seem to have a leading role in addressing the issues put forward by such conspiracists and providing authoritative information that people can consult to better understand the facts around areas of national debate.

Our inquiry will examine whether their voices are prominent enough in the national conversation, whether the public has sufficient authoritative information from trusted voices to make up their mind about important issues and whether there is more that can be done to combat and rebut online misinformation.”

Further information

Inquiry: CC0