Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Discussion

Photo of Tom NevilleTom Neville (Limerick County, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

With the Chairman's indulgence, there are two separate strands. There is online bullying and harassment. We see it and we call it what it is. There are also the grey areas, which we find it very difficult to define because everything is boxed into an algorithm. Somebody may be writing something with the best intentions but it can be interpreted in a different way because it is devoid of emotion. There is no emotion behind it. The tone of voice is not there and neither is the body language. It is not in context. It is incumbent on us to educate ourselves. I do not know how we will do this. That is my point and I am throwing it out there. How do we put on the filter so that we think about how content will be interpreted? I try to do it when I am writing. I ask how it will be interpreted when people, particularly children, read it cold. This is not to blame anybody. It is about knowledge and understanding. It is about educating ourselves on how we do it. We are behind the eight ball because the technology is moving so fast and human capability is not able to catch up.


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