The Government has this week published its Online Harms white paper – but there’s a glaring omission.

The White paper contains nothing to address the serious concerns in our Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee reports about transparency in online political advertising & scourge of disinformation.

With the likelihood of an early General Election, or confirmatory referendum, we need new fit for purpose electoral laws urgently.

You can see my intervention here:

  1. Stephen Norman says:

    Dear Jo Stevens

    Following a visit to your website, I was pleased to see you have addressed as what I see as fundamental need in the digital society which we live in today. Disinformation and fake news are viruses which infects millions in the UK alone, and as global social media platforms appear to be doing the bear minimum this number is rising alarmingly.

    Almost every day on a social media platform I use, somebody always seems to be sharing posts from new fake news sources, and it is clear the people in question do not even investigate to see the truths in what they are reading, but why should they have to?

    During the reply to your question about bringing electoral law up to date, the Rt Hon Jeremy Wright said “I cannot give you a date but knows it is imminent”. We are already a long, long way behind.

    With the exponential growth of technology and software programming implemented with algorithms that continue to become more complex with the use of neural networks and machine learning, what technology laws can the government possibly bring in to tighten their grip on global social media giants like Facebook, when their knowledge and experience is far superior and would’ve already predicted the outcome of the whitepaper before it was released, therefore already have planned loopholes should they be taken to court at a later date? And what are the ongoing plans to constantly update these in line with technology’s exponential growth?

    Yours sincerely,

    Stephen Norman.

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