The Labour Party is calling for new laws to tackle any counter information that goes against the “official” narrative on Vaccines.
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.
Last week, social media giants agreed a package of measures with ministers to tackle anti-vaccine misinformation. Facebook, Twitter and Google promised to “step up work with public health bodies to promote factual and reliable messages” and committed to “swifter responses to flagged content”.
Free speech campaigners however warned that the approach could be counterproductive and “push the argument underground”.
“In the midst of a public health emergency ensuring that there is accurate information about treatments and vaccines is key,” said Ruth Smeeth, chief executive of Index On Censorship.
“However we can’t ignore that people may challenge and push back against the scientific facts. Surely the answer isn’t to ban the anti-vaxxers but to explain why they are wrong on every available platform.
“Demonstrate why the science is right rather then push the argument underground where rational argument will be lost.”