UK to strengthen internet laws to fight Russian disinformation

Social media companies will be forced to comply or face fines

Social media companies will be forced to comply with new UK laws against disinformation. AP.
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Britain is proposing a new law that will require social media companies to tackle disinformation posted by foreign states such as Russia, the government said on Monday.

The law would deal with fake accounts on platforms such as Meta's Facebook and Twitter that were set up on behalf of foreign states to influence elections or court proceedings, the government said.

The law is likely to be passed during this parliamentary session through an amendment to link the National Security Bill and Online Safety Bill, both of which are in the government's current programme.

Communications regulator Ofcom will draw up codes of practice to help social media companies comply with the law, and will have the power to issue fines for infringement.

Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said on Monday that the invasion of Ukraine has shown how Russia uses social media to spread lies about its actions.

"We cannot allow foreign states or their puppets to use the internet to conduct hostile online warfare unimpeded," Ms Dorries said.

"That's why we are strengthening our new internet safety protections to make sure social media firms identify and root out state-backed disinformation."

Updated: July 04, 2022, 10:12 PM
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