Conservative MPs suggest giving social media users a truth score


Online platforms may be forced to maintain a score of how true a person is under the new law proposed by MP John Penrose.

Penrose said its purpose is to reduce the risk of harm to users of regulated services caused by “disinformation or false information.”

The person’s speech “is displayed so that as soon as the user encounters the content, they can easily reach an informed view of the factual accuracy of the content.”

Penrose created an amendment to the Online Safety Bill (pdf), which created (a) user-generated content and (b) news publishers: “Regulated Services are the accuracy of historical facts in the materials published by each user. We need to provide indicators. ” Comments and reviews on the content, or (c) the contact information of the provider whose content is displayed wider than the minimum threshold defined and set by Ofcom, the UK’s online safety regulator. “

The index must meet the minimum quality criteria set by Ofcom and be “displayed so that users can easily reach an informed view of the factual accuracy of the content as soon as they encounter it.” .. situation.

“National arbitration and indexing of truth and credibility is not really possible and is not desirable in a free society,” said Victoria Hughson, head of regulatory issues at the Free Market Think Tank Institute for Economic Affairs. I told the time report by e-mail.

Hughson investigated the subject of the online safety bill and the risk of unintended consequences. report It is entitled “Unsafe Bills: How Online Safety Bills Threaten Freedom of Speech, Innovation, and Privacy.”

“Illiberal and unrealistic”

Hughson questioned the feasibility of Penrose’s proposed amendment.

“Ask social media, search engines, and Ofcom to measure and record the” accuracy “of content posted by millions of users is a non-free and unrealistic standard for online safety bills. Even by the extreme, “Hughson said.

In June, Scottish National Party John Nicholson and Kirsty Blackman, and Labor Party Alex Davis Jones and Barbara Kiel said, “The bill must include content that contains false or disinformation related to health. I tried to add an amendment stating, “Such content is harmful.” For adults. Conservative MP Chris Philp said he agreed “with the intent behind the amendment” but the government did not support the amendment.

However, on Monday, the same group added a fix (pdfThe Secretary of State’s designation of “Priority Content Harmful to Adults” must include public health-related false or false information, as well as false or false information disseminated by foreign countries.

Last week, the government wrote that it would submit an amendment to link the national security bill to the online security bill. If the bill is passed, social media platforms will need to proactively seek out and remove “disinformation” from foreign state officials.

Currently in the reporting stage, this is an opportunity for the entire home to discuss and amend the bill.

The online security bill is also now at the center of the fight within the Conservatives, and the government is pushing the bill, but other Tory lawmakers are against it.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports said that the bill does not prevent access to or posting legitimate content, protects children from harmful content such as pornography, and protects freedom of speech while being illegal. It states that it will limit exposure to various content. .. On Thursday, the government submitted an amendment to an online safety bill that would prevent the platform from deleting news without an appeal process.

However, former Brexit Minister Sir Frost has increasingly said, warning that the bill is “extremely damaging” to free speech.

“Serious impact on free speech”

Rep. Kemi Badenoch swiped the bill when he participated in the Conservative leadership race, saying: The Times of London editorial, “Rather than enacting risky and hurt feelings with online safety bills, we need to strengthen the culture of democracy when democratic values ​​are being attacked from inside and outside.”

In a speech on Monday’s Riverside Advisory’s “Parliamentary Event in Support of Freedom of Speech” Guido FawkesBadenoch also revealed that she does not support the online safety bill in its current form.

“Restricting freedom of speech is wrong and dangerous. Online security bills will have a serious impact on freedom of speech. I have been supporting the government in all bills since I became a member of parliament. I’m not going to support it in its current form this week. “

The Epoch Times is asking John Penrose for comment.

Owen Evans


Owen Evans is a UK-based journalist who covers stories from a wide range of countries with a particular interest in civil liberties and free speech.