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Disinformation and misinformation on social media about COVID-19 to be investigated

26 March 2020

MPs are calling on members of the public to flag up examples of disinformation and misinformation on social media about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, as part of its investigations.

The DCMS Sub-committee on Online Harms and Disinformation will hold hearings with social media companies among others to focus on what is being done to tackle deliberate attempts to present false narratives about COVID-19.

Examples sent in by members of the public will be considered as evidence to be presented to the Government and to social media companies.

Chair's comments

Chair of the Committee, Julian Knight MP said:

"The deliberate spreading of false information about COVID-19 could have serious consequences. Much of this is happening on social media through private channels, putting the onus on friends and family to identify whether the information they are seeing is misleading.

There have been some shocking examples in recent weeks and we want people to send us what they've come across.

We will call in social media companies as soon as the House returns to explain what they're doing to deal with harmful content like this to help give people the reassurances they need at this difficult time. Tech giants who allow this to proliferate on their platforms are morally responsible for tackling disinformation and should face penalties if they don't." 

Further information

Image: Pixabay