LETTER: Social media threat

Picture: REUTERS

William Bird is correct about the problems posed by social media in the run-up to our 2019 election, but it is an even bigger problem than he suggests (New rules needed to ensure social media do not undermine elections, June 13). Social media are a threat to democracy itself.

Historian Anne Applebaum had this to say: “Facebook has declared itself free of responsibility … it argues it is not legally liable for material that appears on its platform because it is not a ‘publisher’…. The result is that anyone who seeks to spread false information on Facebook or any other social media site is, in practice, no longer bound by laws on libel or false advertising that were designed to stop them.”

Social media have undermined the credibility of news, and you cannot have a democracy without a good flow of verifiable news to the voting public.