UK Parliamentary Committee Embarks on Crusade Against 'Fake News'

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The UK Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Committee intends to focus on such issues as determination of "fake news," its impact on public understanding of the situation on the world and on journalism in general.

LONDON (Sputnik) — The UK Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Committee initiated on Monday an inquiry into the spread of the so-called fake news, setting a deadline for written submissions on the issue for March 3, a statement published on the UK Parliament's website said.

"The Culture, Media and Sport Committee launches an inquiry into 'fake news': the growing phenomenon of widespread dissemination, through social media and the internet, and acceptance as fact of stories of uncertain provenance or accuracy," the statement said.

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The Committee intends to focus on such issues as determination of "fake news," its impact on public understanding of the situation on the world and on journalism in general. It also seeks to examine whether there is any difference in the way people of various age or background react to such news, and what could be done to tackle the problem and teach people to use multiple sources of information in order not to be misguided.

The Committee also plans to examine the ways other countries have responded to the problem.

The chair of the Committee, Damian Collins, stressed that the people should be given necessary tools "to assess the origin and likely veracity of news stories," adding that the body would also have a look at how fake news could be used during elections and other important political events.

"The growing phenomenon of fake news is a threat to democracy and undermines confidence in the media in general," Collins noted.

The term "fake news" became widely popular during the 2016 US presidential campaign, with Republican nominee Donald Trump repeatedly accusing media of biased coverage and fake news promotion. After winning the election, Trump has continued to criticize media on wrongful coverage.

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