Big tech hits back against State for moves to make directors liable for harm | #socialmedia


The Government is facing a sharp backlash from tech giants such as Apple, Google and Facebook against moves to make directors of social media companies criminally liable for harm caused on their platforms.

Steps to introduce criminal sanctions come as the public authorities make efforts to protect children and adults from serious cyberbullying and the dissemination online of material promoting self-harm, suicide and eating disorders.

But business has hit back, urging Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar to dilute the proposals and warning of reputational consequences for the State if they do not.

The warning was set out in a letter copied to all Cabinet members from Technology Ireland, the lobby group for global tech companies with Irish operations and a branch of business organisation Ibec.

The group has 270 members, with almost 250,000 workers. They include Apple, Google and Facebook – some of the world’s largest companies – as well as Twitter, Tiktok, Airbnb, Intel, IBM and Dell Technologies.

The intervention comes as Minister for Media Catherine Martin advances draft laws in the Dáil that would allow criminal sanctions to be imposed on social media providers that breach new safety rules.



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