Covid-19: Stop anti-vaccination fake news online with new law says Labour
Emergency laws to “stamp out dangerous” anti-vaccine content online should be introduced, Labour has said.
The party is calling for financial and criminal penalties for social media firms that do not remove false scare stories about vaccines.
It follows news of progress on the first effective coronavirus vaccine.
The government said it took the issue “extremely seriously” with “a major commitment” from Facebook, Twitter and Google to tackle anti-vaccine content.
Many social media platforms label false content as misleading or disputed – and all remove posts that contravene terms of service.
But Labour said a commitment by platforms to remove content flagged by the government was not enough.
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said such content was “exploiting people’s fears, their mistrust of institutions and governments and spreading poison and harm”.
Coronavirus vaccine: Labour calls for emergency censorship laws for anti-vax content
The government should bring forward emergency legislation to “stamp out” dangerous anti-vax misinformation ahead of the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine, Labour has said.
The shadow culture secretary, Jo Stevens, and the shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, have written to the government warning that “our historic strength in vaccine uptake must not be taken for granted” as the prospect of a treatment for the virus looms.
Keir Starmer’s shadow ministers are calling for financial and criminal penalties for social media companies that fail to censor posts promoting anti-vaccination content, which they note is rampant on those platforms.The opposition ministers say anti-vaccination groups with almost 100,000 users can be found within seconds of logging on to Facebook. Source