SOCIAL media must be regulated to stop the spread of fake news before the next election, a landmark Lords review has ruled.
Online political adverts and campaigns would require a similar âimprintâ like paper leaflets so voters know who paid for them under a radical overhaul suggested by respected Peers.
Fake news Inquiry boss Lord Lipsey hit out: âMore needs to be done to better understand that threat and educate the population to spot âfake newsâ and baseless propaganda online.â
He added: âOne concrete step that the Government can take now is to require all online campaign communications to carry an imprint to say who published it, as is the case for the printed material, and give the Electoral Commission the power to police and enforce that rule.â
But his Select Committee on Political Polling and Digital Media did not go as far as they were urged in outlawing publication of opinion polls in the days running up to elections.
Countries like France have far stricter rules and campaigners have urged for a similar clampdown.
Instead they recommend tougher regulations for firms trying to predict the outcome after suggestions they skew the results.
New rules would see firms publish who paid for surveys and more transparency around their methods.
Set up after the 2017 Election, the Committee recommended further probes by Peers and MPs into the threat of social media to democracy.
Lord Lipsey said: âTaken together, a lack of transparency and sometimes inaccurate polls, and the murky world of online political communications, pose an insidious threat to our political system.
âWhile we may be one of the oldest democracies in the world we must face up to these very contemporary dangers.
He added: âGovernment, parliament and the polling industry must act now, before the damage goes deeper.â
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