The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has recently published a response to an enquiry made by the House of Lords Select Committee on Political Polling and Digital Media. The government has addressed 7 recommendations made by the committee. These are the main responses from the Government.
The committee recommended that the Electoral Commission should take an enhanced role in monitoring voting intention polling conducted and published during regulated periods preceding UK election. The government has responded that regulation is a matter for polling companies and that there is no evidence regulation would ensure best practice, and should therefore be a last resort.
The Government has assured the committee that it is undertaking urgent research to better understand the problem of disinformation, and will continue to work with industry, civil society and international partners to conduct further research and create a way to tackle the problem.
The Government has reassured the committee that there are a range of opportunities for school aged pupils and adults to learn critical media literacy and critical analysis of texts to insure people have the skills to enable them to assess and analyse the information they read online.
The Government has informed the committee that the Electoral Commission does encourage imprints on electronic campaign material, but that it is not a legal requirement and that there are particular challenges in extending imprint rules to electronic material.
The Digital Charter, is a rolling programme by the Government that seeks to agree on the norms and rules for the online world and put them into practice. The Government will be looking to ensure that online companies have the right level of responsibility for illegal material appearing on their sites.
In addition to work being done in the UK, the Government is committed to working with allies and partners to promote a collective response to tackle attempts to maliciously interfere with the UK or allies’ sovereign democratic processes.