In the run up to the UK election on 12 December, it is starkly apparent that the UK’s lack of regulation of online political advertising is in dire need of reform.
The increase in ‘problem’ digital content circulating online is of increasing concern. Doctored footage, false statements and 'deepfakes' are being posted and shared at an alarming rate across social media platforms.
The current potential avenues for remedy under UK law are piecemeal and may not directly address the issue (civil claims for defamation, harassment, IP & copyright, claims under the GDPR etc). In addition, the social media platforms are adopting different positions on fact-checking.
The current political landscape calls for a serious change to be made to the way political adverts and social media content is regulated and accountability for that content; without this being left to the social media platforms themselves to police and regulate.
If you have any questions surrounding this topic then please do get in touch.
The UK does not have time to solve the problems of online political advertising before the general election, meaning it should be voluntarily suspended by Facebook and Google until after the vote, campaigners, academics and non-profits have said.