'Democracy is at risk unless the government and regulators take urgent action to combat a growing crisis of data manipulation, disinformation and so-called fake news, a parliamentary committee is expected to say.
In damning conclusions to a report leaked by former Vote Leave campaign strategist Dominic Cummings before its official publication on Sunday, the digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) committee adds to the growing calls for tougher government regulation of social media companies. It accuses them of profiting from misleading material and raises concerns about Russian involvement in British politics.
The report is expected to say that the “relentless targeting of hyper-partisan views, which play to the fears and prejudices of people, in order to influence their voting plans and their behaviour” posed a greater threat to democracy than more familiar forms of so-called fake news, raising particular concerns about the way online data could be manipulated to impact elections.
The DCMS committee has spent 18 months conducting a series of high-profile and often cantankerous evidence sessions in which the focus has shifted from disinformation to the influence of social networks, in particular Facebook, and the use of targeted adverts during the Brexit referendum.
Its work has drawn heavily on a series of reports in the Observer on the activities of data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica and the pro-Brexit Vote Leave campaign group during the referendum campaign.'
Read more: Democracy at risk due to fake news and data misuse, MPs conclude
Did you like this article?
Thank you for your vote!
6 December 2018
Is NOTHING private any more? Shocking extent of how big firms harvest your data – from children's voice recordings, passport info and even pregnant mothers' due dates
4 December 2018
I quit Instagram and Facebook and it made me a lot happier — and that's a big problem for social media companies
From our advertisers
7 hours ago
‘Total mobilization’: Strasbourg bans public demos amid massive manhunt for Christmas market gunman
The Brexit Mess Planned All Along To Thwart The Will Of The People - The David Icke Dot-Connector Videocast
6 hours ago
Yemen war: At least six times as many killed in conflict than previously thought, report says
From our advertisers