Government to consider bill on harmful online content | #socialmedia

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts and Media Catherine Martin is to seek Government approval to publish the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill.

The legislation will allow for the appointment of an Online Safety Commissioner as part of a new Media Commission.

The commissioner will draw up rules around how social media services should deal with harmful online content.

Harmful online content includes criminal material, serious cyber-bullying material and material promoting self-harm, suicide and eating disorders.

The commissioner will have the power to appoint authorised officers to conduct investigations.

In the event of a failure to comply with an online safety code, and subject to court approval, the Media Commission will have the power to impose financial sanctions of up to €20m or 10% of turnover.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts and Media, Catherine Martin

The Cabinet is expected to agree to beginning the process to recruit the Online Safety Commissioner.

Under the legislation before Government this morning, the Media Commission would take on the current functions of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and regulate both television and radio broadcasters.

The commission will also be responsible for the regulation of video on-demand services.

The regulations that apply to these services will be set out in media codes and rules and will address issues such as programme standards, advertising, sponsorship and product placement.

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