Twitter and Facebook threatened in UK’s ‘Fake News’ probe

Both Twitter and Facebook may face sanctions as long as they continue their stonewalling of parliament over the Russian interference found in the European Union’s referendum, said the Commons inquiry chair.


Damian Collins, the chair of the UK’s Department of Culture, Media and Sports committee, is probing “fake news”, which has given both companies the deadline of 18 January to fix their failure in handling information requested regarding Russian campaigns to misinform on both of their platforms.

“There has to be a way of scrutinizing the procedures that companies like Facebook put in place to help them identify known sources of disinformation, particularly when it’s politically motivated and coming from another country,” said Collins.

He said that the companies need to manage to answer to how they will fix the situation and what they plan to do about it.

Collins’s intervention, what is being seen as the first warning that the threat of sanctions may follow failure to hand over any information required, may cause concern in social media-based firms.

In his letter to Twitter earlier this month, the chair wrote: “The information you have now shared with us is completely inadequate … It seems odd that so far we have received more information about activities that have taken place on your platform from journalists and academics than from you.”


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