United Kingdom Policies Affecting Disinformation

From ADTAC Disinformation Inventory


The U.K does not currently have laws that address the validity of news on social media but there is pending legislation. [1]

The December 2020 Online Harms White Paper outlines a plan for a "a new system of accountability and oversight for tech companies, moving far beyond self-regulation."[2]They will set up an independent regulator who will have "will set clear safety standards, backed up by reporting requirements and effective enforcement powers"[3] They will require that companies use "proportionate and proactive measures to help users understand the nature and reliability of the information they are receiving".[4]

Actions against disinformation

The United Kingdom has media literacy campaigns and has a number of initiatives for governmental departments to distribute factual disinformation in ways which counter disinformation.[5] The U.K. Government has also set up the National Security Communications Unit, which is responsible for “combating disinformation by state actors and others.”[6][7]

Within the U.K. Government there are various branches that are tasked with countering disinformation. Under the Fusion Doctrine, intelligence services are made responsible for identifying social media platforms that distribute misinformation and disinformation.

Further, the Rapid Response unit, created by the U.K. Cabinet Office, checks that debates are fact based. The National Security Communications Team is tasked with tackling communications elements of threats to national security, including disinformation.

The Government is considering regulating online media the same way that it regulates tradition broadcast media. Traditional channels are required to ensure that any news is accurate and impartially provided.[8]

See more:

National Policies Affecting Disinformation