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Fake News: Senate Probe To Examine Social Media

In a bid to stamp out the pernicious use of “fake news”, fuelled by foreign actors on social media, the Morrison Government has given the green light for an inquiry over the coming year.

A new Senate select committee will probe and report on the risk posed to Australia’s democracy by foreign interference through sites such as Facebook, Twitter and WeChat, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The hearings will focus on the use of social media for purposes that are claimed to undermine Australia’s democracy and values, including the spread of misinformation and international policy responses to cyber-enabled foreign interference.

The terms of reference for the Senate probe will include responses to mitigate the risk posed to Australia’s democracy and values, including by the Australian government and social media platforms.

“The rise of ‘fake news’ and misinformation campaigns present a very real and present danger to democracy,” Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong said. “We must protect our democracy from malicious foreign actors.”

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