Comment on MPs' criticism of internet giants over COVID-19 disinformation

April 30, 2020

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OPEN KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION

EMBARGO: IMMEDIATE

COMMENT ON MPs' CRITICISM OF INTERNET GIANTS OVER COVID-19 DISINFORMATION

UK MPs have accused internet giants Facebook, Google and Twitter of being ‘unable to answer basic questions’ about disinformation related to COVID-19.

Representatives of the firms today appeared before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) sub-committee on online harms and disinformation.

Committee chairman Julian Knight said MPs would be writing to each of the tech giants to voice their ‘displeasure’ at a ‘lack of answers’ given on content moderation on their platforms.

The Open Knowledge Foundation has been campaigning against disinformation on the internet.

Catherine Stihler, chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said: “The spread of fake news and disinformation on internet platforms about the coronavirus crisis is deeply worrying.

“MPs are right to raise concerns about tech giants, which have a responsibility to increase transparency and work closely with fact checkers to prevent the spread of disinformation about COVID-19.

“The best way to tackle disinformation is to make information open, allowing journalists and researchers to provide facts to the public.

“Ensuring there is open data is the first stage in the battle against the coronavirus.”

ENDS

Contact: Alan Roden at alan.roden@okfn.org or +44 (0)7753 904 531

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