The UK is going to introduce stricter rules for the online campaign. Political parties and campaigners must be more clearly identified as to who they are. With the measures, the government aims to prevent foreign interference in the British elections.
The proposals put forward on Wednesday mean that campaign material must clearly identify the origin of the content. The same rules apply to printed material for digital campaign expressions.
“Voters appreciate transparency, so we need to make sure there are clear rules to help them identify who’s behind online campaign material,” said Minister for Constitutional and Administrative Affairs Chloe Smith. Facebook has indicated that it also supports a modernisation of the rules.
Recently, a parliamentary report was published stating that Russia had tried to influence the Scottish independence referendum in 2014. The government was criticised in the report for not doing enough to investigate whether Moscow interfered with the Brexit referendum in 2016.
Several parliamentarians have recently questioned the resilience of British democracy. According to them, the campaign rules, which were last updated 20 years ago, provide room to spread false information and thereby influence the election results.
The government recognises the need to modernise the campaign rules. In July, some British ministers accused “Russian parties” of wanting to influence the elections in 2019.