DCMS Committee slates Facebook, Fake News and Foreign Election Interference
An eighteen month enquiry into ‘Disinformation and ‘Fake News’’ culminated today in the publication
of the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee’s final report into interference through social
media in elections at home and abroad, and during the UK’s EU Referendum.
The report builds on recommendations for better regulation of online platforms, which were outlined
in the Committee’s interim findings last July - and is especially critical of Facebook, the collapsed Cambridge
Analytica group of companies, the Leave campaigns in the referendum and of Russian interference.
It summarises evidence, in particular, relating to breaches of privacy by Facebook - through which
users were targeted with misinformation, including so-called ‘dark ads’ – and the company’s targeting of
competition to enhance its dominant market position.
‘Companies like Facebook should not be allowed to behave like ‘digital gangsters’ in the online world,
considering themselves to be ahead of and beyond the law,’ the report warns.
Newcastle-under-Lyme’s MP Paul Farrelly, the Committee’s longest-serving member, added:
‘This is the latest of a series of in-depth reports, since I first joined in 2005, in which the Committee
has sought to make a real difference. We pursued phone-hacking relentlessly, and in another long
investigation have now followed leads uncovered regarding abuses of power online.’
‘This is not the end of the story. Our next big enquiry is about to delve into issues of addiction and
so-called ‘immersive reality, which are becoming all-too concerning in the age of the internet.’