The UK government has rejected a parliamentary committee’s call for a levy on social media firms to fund digital literacy lessons to combat the impact of disinformation online. The recommendation of a levy on social media platforms was made by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee three months ago, in a preliminary report following a multi-month investigation into the impact of so-called ‘fake news’ on democratic processes. Though it has suggested the terms ‘misinformation’ and ‘disinformation’ be used instead, to better pin down exact types of problematic inauthentic content — and on that at least the government agrees. But just not on very much else. At least not yet. Among around 50 policy suggestions in the interim report — which the committee put out quickly exactly to call for “urgent action” to ‘defend democracy’ — it urged the government to put forward proposals for an education levy on social media. But in its response, released by the committee today, the government writes that it is “continuing to build the evidence base on a social media levy to inform our approach in this area”. “We are aware that companies and charities are undertaking a wide range of work to tackle online harms… Read full this story
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