The Government takes misinformation online seriously and is undertaking work to tackle this and the related issue of online disinformation. The Government’s view is that in order to reduce the potential impact of disinformation (and misinformation), we must take account not only of the actors involved, but of the environment that enables them to spread and amplify falsehoods, and the audience that they reach.
On 12 February the Government published its Initial Consultation Response to the Online Harms White Paper. The response sets out our direction of travel on a number of key areas, and confirmed that a media literacy strategy will be published in Summer 2020. This strategy will aim to support citizens in thinking critically about material they come across online. The Government is also taking action to increase public awareness with the ‘Don’t Feed The Beast’ campaign. This aims to educate and empower those who see, inadvertently share and are affected by false and misleading information.
The Initial Consultation Response also announced that we are minded to appoint Ofcom as the regulator for online harms, and provided details on the proposed approach of the regulator. Further detail on proposals on online harms regulation will be released in the spring.