Luminate statement on UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee final report on Disinformation and 'fake news'
The DCMS Select Committee issued its final report today, providing a devastating critique of the monopolies held by the big technology companies and the harm their products cause to the integrity of the public debate and the fabric of democracy. This 18-month inquiry has been the most comprehensive of its kind anywhere in the world, including an unprecedented internationalisation of the investigatory hearings to include eight other countries.
Ben Scott, Director of Policy & Advocacy, Luminate comments: “Unsparing and thorough in its critique, this report makes clear that the problem we have with the big tech companies and social media platforms cannot be solved with half-measures and self-regulation. The UK parliament has offered a comprehensive agenda for change that seeks to check the enormous power of digital monopolies in order to protect democracy. If the UK government were to implement these recommendations, it would cement its position as a world leader in bringing the platforms to book and setting precedent for other countries to follow.”
“The findings of the UK Parliamentary investigation reflect a diagnosis of the problem that identifies the structure of the digital media industry as the culprit — rooted as it is in pervasive data collection and sophisticated mechanisms of targeted communications that are opaque to the user. The recommended steps for governmental policy change are sweeping and deliver a comprehensive approach to the problem. Both this analysis and remedy are consistent with Luminate’s Digital Democracy Charter and Action Plan, which we published in November.”
Luminate is a global philanthropic organisation focused on empowering people and institutions to work together to build just and fair societies. Luminate was previously the Governance & Citizen Engagement initiative at Omidyar Network and is now part of The Omidyar Group. It was established in 2018 by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay. Luminate works with its investees and partners to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in, and shape, the issues affecting their societies, and to make government, corporations, media, and those in positions of power more responsive and more accountable. Luminate does this by funding and supporting innovative and courageous organisations and entrepreneurs around the world, and by advocating for the policies and actions that will drive change across four impact areas: Civic Empowerment, Data & Digital Rights, Financial Transparency, and Independent Media. To date it has supported 236 organisations in 18 countries with $314 million in funding. www.luminategroup.com. @luminategroup