Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill to be Introduced to promote wider internet safety.
Minister for Arts and Culture Catherine Martin will today ask ministerial colleagues to approve the text of a new Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill. It is thought to be a significant piece of legislation which would introduce a new body to regulate broadcasters and online streaming services, as well as promote wider internet safety.
Harmful Content on Social Media
Campaigners in Ireland have long sought a strengthening of regulation with regards to the harmful content that social media companies allow on their platforms, and how it can target vulnerable people either through algorithms or via other users.
The new body would replace the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland that is currently responsible for overseeing and regulating radio and television broadcasters. In addition to these services, the new Media Commission would also be responsible for regulating streaming platforms such as Netflix, including the authority to impose a levy on such services.
Online Safety Codes
It is envisioned that a new online safety commissioner, expected to be recruited in the coming months, would regulate how social media sites deal with harmful content on their services. Such powers given to the commissioner would include the establishment of online safety codes, as well as the authority to penalise social media services that are not compliant with fines of up to twenty-million euro or 10 per cent of turnover.
Despite opposition from various tech companies, TDs and Senators serving on the Oireachtas committee pushed for a significant toughening of the legislation after months of deliberation on the topic.
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