Is Social Media Manipulating UK Politics?

Is Social Media Manipulating UK Politics? To discuss social media and its' effect on UK politics and public opinion on the matter. Britain’s democracy is under fire- from social media. A Parliamentary inquiry has claimed the British public is being increasingly manipulated by a campaign of disinformation and fake news in social media, a growing crisis that threatens UK democracy. The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee of the British Parliament has revealed it believes social media manipulation has influenced the public on major issues, including on the 2016 Brexit referendum. The inquiry concludes that British voters were being targeted in social media, saying it had received ‘disturbing evidence’ of hacking, disinformation and voter suppression in elections since 2010. The committee has urged the government to ensure that the National Crime Agency thoroughly investigates these allegations, following months of investigation into the negative impact of social media giants like Facebook. This followed revelations that a ineffective privacy safeguards in Facebook had helped British consultancy group Cambridge Analytica to manipulate users’ data for political reasons. It has been stated that Facebook remained unwilling to cooperate with investigations that seek to protect the public from similar data breaches in the future. ‘Facebook has hampered our efforts to get information about their company throughout this inquiry,’ the Committee claimed, adding ‘it is as if it thinks that the problem will go away if it does not share information about the problem, and reacts only when it is pressed. The report also stated that Facebook had provided witnesses who were either unwilling or unable to give full answers to the committee's questions. And all the while, the public remain vulnerable to further breaches of their privacy and data.

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