Take part: UK parliament threatens to sanction Facebook and Twitter in fake news inquiry

A UK parliamentary group warned Facebook and Twitter (Guardian) that they will be subject to sanctions if they continue to provide inadequate information to an inquiry into the influence of fake news on the UK’s referendum on leaving the EU.

The committee running the inquiry asked the social media groups for information linked to potential Russian influence on online debate. The committee chair, Damien Collins, said the request had been “completely ignore[d]”. Collins himself does not have authority to impose direct sanctions on Facebook and Twitter, but he can demand that their executives appear before his committee and can bring greater scrutiny on them. Russia denies having had any influence on the public debate in the build-up to the referendum.


  • What have reports and public statements suggested about the influence of fake news on the referendum campaign in June 2016?
  • How do you think different governments have approached Facebook and Twitter, in terms of their roles as platforms with some responsibility over the content shared by their users?
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