PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OPEN KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION
ELECTION DISINFORMATION REPORT SHOWS URGENT NEED FOR REFORM
A report from the Coalition for Reform in Political Advertising has found that at least 31 political advertising campaigns during the UK General Election have been dishonest or untruthful.
While Twitter has now banned paid-for political adverts, Facebook refused calls for a temporary suspension during the campaign.
Political advertising is regulated outside of the Advertising Standards Authority, and the electoral law that applies ‘doesn't require claims in political campaigns to be truthful or factually accurate’, according to the House of Commons library.
The Open Knowledge Foundation has said there is an urgent need for reform of electoral laws for the digital age.
It has also called on politicians and parties to help resuscitate the three foundations of tolerance, facts and ideas.
Catherine Stihler, chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said:
“This report shows that widespread disinformation has blighted this election campaign, and all main parties have been found guilty.
“Twitter’s recent decision to ban political adverts was a welcome step, but it was disappointing that Facebook failed to introduce a temporary ban on political ads.
“However, ultimately the long-term solution to this does not involve self-regulation. The only way to build a fair, free and open digital future in the UK and across the world is to update analogue electoral laws for the digital age.
“This must be urgently addressed by the next UK Government.
“But a crackdown on paid-for adverts alone can’t stop the spread of false information – it requires parties and politicians to stop playing fast and loose with the truth. The way forward for our politics is to resuscitate the three foundations of tolerance, facts and ideas.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Contact: Alan Roden at firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)7753 904 531
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