UK to form unit to fight 'fake news,' misinformation campaigns

UK to form unit to fight 'fake news,' misinformation campaigns
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The United Kingdom is establishing a new unit to curb the presence of hoax news stories online and stop social media influence campaigns from foreign adversaries, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesperson said.

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“We are living in an era of fake news and competing narratives. The government will respond with more and better use of national security communications to tackle these interconnected, complex challenges,” May’s spokesman told reporters, according to The Guardian and other British news outlets.

“To do this we will build on existing capabilities by creating a dedicated national security communications unit. This will be tasked with combating disinformation by state actors and others,” the spokesman said.

The unit will aim to “more systematically deter [Britain’s] adversaries and help [it] deliver on national security priorities.”

The spokesperson noted that specific operations and staffing information is not yet available.

British politicians have called for greater scrutiny of how Russians might have tried to influence the Brexit referendum vote for the U.K. to leave the European Union.