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Ministers questioned over COVID-19 and fake news

7 May 2020

The Select Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies will next week hold its first virtual public meeting when it takes evidence from three Ministers on the impact of misinformation both during the current Covid-19 crisis and on our democracy more generally.


Tuesday 12 May, virtual meeting
At 10.30am


Tuesday 12 May

  • Nick Gibb MP, Minister for School Standards, Department of Education
  • Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister for Digital and Culture, DCMS
  • Chloe Smith MP, Minister of State, Cabinet Office

Possible areas of discussion

  • How Covid-19 has changed the way the Government approaches digital technologies?
  • What positive action have the tech giants taken in the face of the Covid-19 crisis and what lessons can they take from that for the future?
  • What the Covid-19 crisis has taught the Government about the relative levels of digital literacy amongst teaching staff and their ability to help young people engage safely online? How will the Government upskill teachers at this critical time?
  • How soon the Government expects its Online Harms work to see fruition and whether the Online Harms Bill will be implemented before 2023.
  • Whether the Government has considered appointing an online ombudsman to help individuals seek redress against technology companies?
  • When the Government intends to respond to the Electoral Commission's report on modernising electoral law to reflect developments in digital campaigning?
  • Whether the Government believes that misinformation is more likely to occur in online political advertising than in offline print material and whether it has investigated the feasibility of the Electoral Commission creating a comprehensive database of online and offline election material?

Further information