Tech, social media companies plan crackdown on U.K. election misinformation

Facebook is opening up a war room to quickly respond to election hoaxes. Twitter is banning political ads. Google plans to crack down on bogus videos on YouTube.

Social media platforms say they are mounting a vigorous campaign against misinformation in the lead up to next month’s general election in the United Kingdom. But digital misinformation experts believe British voters remain vulnerable to the same type of misleading ads and phoney claims that played a role in the vote to leave the European Union three years ago.

Government inaction on online misinformation and digital ad regulations have added to the pressure internet companies are under as they face growing criticism for amplifying false claims during the run up to the 2016 Brexit referendum and the 2016 election in the U.S.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed for the snap Dec. 12 election, in which voters will choose 650 representatives to the House of Commons, hoping his Conservative Party will gain enough seats to break a stalemate over his plan to take Britain out of the EU.

And with campaigns barely under way, falsehoods are already spreading online.

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