A UK parliamentary intelligence committee report on Russian “disinformation and influence” has called for the UK Government to establish a protocol with social media companies to remove covert hostile state material and to commit to “clear timescales” for removal.
The report also calls for the UK Government to “name and shame” the social media companies that fail to act.
Additionally, the report suggests that “such a protocol could, usefully, be expanded to encompass the other areas in which action is required from the social media companies, since this issue is not unique to Hostile State Activity.”
The report states: “Open source studies have pointed to the preponderance of pro-Brexit or anti-EU stories on RT and Sputnik, and the use of ‘bots’ and ‘trolls’, as evidence of Russian attempts to influence the process.”
The UK Government responded to the report by writing that it had seen “no evidence of successful interference in the EU Referendum” and that there is “no evidence of a broad spectrum Russian campaign against the election.”
However, it acknowledged that through its Counter Disinformation Unit (CDU), it has “established strong relationships” with social media companies and “been given access to accelerated reporting portals” which allow the government to “quickly identify content which is in breach of platform terms and conditions, to ensure that platforms can take appropriate action such as removal of content or suspension of accounts.”
Additionally, the UK Government stated that its Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) “will continue pushing platforms to take the actions necessary to improve and safeguard the information environment.”
The report is the latest of several requests and proposals for the UK Government to impose stricter regulations on the internet and social media platforms based on vague, subjective terms such as “hatred” and “disinformation.”
Last week, UK regulators discussed their plans to fine and restrict internet video providers over hatred and more.
And earlier this month, UK broadcasters demanded that the UK Government regulate “fake news” and disinformation on Google and Facebook.
Efforts to regulate what these groups deem to be misinformation often result in users of social media platforms being censored while mainstream media outlets expand their dominance.
Yet pressure groups, politicians, and social media platforms consistently introduce new misinformation measures and proposals that result in increased amounts of social media censorship.