“Social media companies should have legal responsibilities” – Chris Elmore MP
Ogmore MP Chris Elmore has welcomed the news that the UK Government has agreed a series of measures with social media companies to help tackle vaccine misinformation online - but warned that social media companies need to be bound by legal responsibilities to remove false or misleading content.
The UK Government this week announced that leading social media platforms have endorsed the principle that no company should be profiting from Covid-19 vaccine mis-information, committing to swiftly removing any flagged content and work with public health bodies to promote factual and reliable messages.
Chris Elmore MP said:
“I have been campaigning against the real-life impact of virtual anti-vax misinformation for some time, and know first-hand how sophisticated the methods used by these conspiracists are.
“Conspiracy theorists, con artists, and people out to cause mischief are propagating rumours online that vaccines are dangerous. This is having a serious impact on our ability not only to tackle the immediate Covid-19 pandemic, but also efforts to ensure diseases such as measles remain at bay.
“Newspapers rightly have responsibility for the stories they print; this should be the same for the social media platforms. They must accept that with their enormous followings, they have a duty of care to those using their platforms. This must include removing harmful content such as vaccine misinformation.”
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2. The Government issued a press release on 8 November 2020: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/social-media-giants-agree-package-of-measures-with-uk-government-to-tackle-vaccine-disinformation