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Coronavirus: Fake news crackdown by UK government

Coronavirus: Fake news crackdown by UK government
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It will try to tackle a range of issues online, such as fake "experts" issuing false medical information and criminals running phishing scams.

Last Tuesday, for example, hours after the government started sending texts urging people to stay at home, several fake versions of the message began circulating on social media.

One of them told people they had been fined for breaking the rules.

Mr Dowden added: "We need people to follow expert medical advice and stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

"It is vital that this message hits home and that misinformation and disinformation which undermines it is knocked down quickly."

The government is also re-launching a campaign called "Don t Feed the Beast", urging the public to think carefully about what they share online.

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Media captionHow can you spot "fake news"?

It comes as the former chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee called for knowingly sharing misinformation about Covid-19 to be made an offence.

Conservative MP Damian Collins said: "The information contagion around Covid-19 is so dangerous, because there is so much that people don t know and so much happening all the time, that it is very easy for false rumours to take hold and spread."
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