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Lords Democracy and Digital Technology Committee to quiz Ministers on ‘fake news’ including during Covid-19 crisis

The House of Lords Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies will today hold its first virtual public meeting when it takes evidence from three Ministers on the impact of misinformation both during the current Corvid-19 crisis and on our democracy more generally.

The evidence session, which will be conducted on Zoom and can be followed at will start at 10:30am on Tuesday 12 May. Giving evidence will be:

  • Nick Gibb MP, Minister for School Standards, Department of Education
  • Caroline Dineage MP, Minister for Digital and Culture, DCMS
  • Chloe Smith MP, Minister of State, Cabinet Office

Questions the Committee will cover with the Ministers include:

  • How Covid-19 has changed the way the Government approaches digital technologies?
  • What positive action have the tech giants taken in the face of the Covid-19 crisis and what lessons can they take from that for the future?
  • What the Covid-19 crisis has taught the Government about the relative levels of digital literacy amongst teaching staff and their ability to help young people engage safely online? How will the Government upskill teachers at this critical time?
  • How soon the Government expects its Online Harms work to see fruition and whether the Online Harms Bill will be implemented before 2023.
  • Whether the Government has considered appointing an online ombudsman to help individuals seek redress against technology companies?
  • When the Government intends to respond to the Electoral Commission’s report on modernising electoral law to reflect developments in digital campaigning?
  • Whether the Government believes that misinformation is more likely to occur in online political advertising than in offline print material and whether it has investigated the feasibility of the Electoral Commission creating a comprehensive database of online and offline election material?
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