The Government is facing increasing pressure from opposition parties to draft up legislation that effectively addresses the problem of fake news.
With the news of a potential vaccine being rolled out breaking last week, anti-vaxxer groups have continued to share misinformation around the vaccine, claiming it won’t have been properly tested and could lead to further health complications.
When asked to comment on just how many anti-vaxxer groups and posts had been reported to Government, ministers at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport refused to comment.
Research conducted by the Labour Party suggests that dedicated anti-vaccination groups with hundreds of thousands of members on social media are still producing misleading content despite the Government and social media companies’ recent announcement of new measures to deal with the issue of fake news.
Social media companies play a huge part in the governance of fake news on their platforms, but unfortunately it is difficult to push private companies into action off their own back, it has to be put in to law.
Shadow Culture Secretary, Jo Stevens, said:
“The government has a pitiful track record on taking action against online platforms that are facilitating the spread of disinformation.
“It has been clear for years that this is a widespread and growing problem and the government knows, because Labour has been warning them for some time, that it poses a real threat to the take up of the vaccine.
“This is literally a matter of life and death and anyone who is dissuaded from being vaccinated because of this is one person too many.”