Dáil debates

Tuesday, 9 July 2024

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions


3:15 pm

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)

I thank Deputy Healy-Rae. We all knowledge that the advent of technology, online media and social media have brought benefits. We all see it in our own lives. Deputy Healy-Rae gets his message out to the people in Kerry that way as well. He is right, however; it cannot be the Wild West. There must be rules, laws, sanctions and regulations as to how that still relatively new structure works. What I am telling Deputy Healy-Rae and the people of this country today is that we are moving into a new era in relation to that. We now have our media regulator. We have a draft online safety code. It is not fluff - not that the Deputy suggested it is - because failure to comply with it can lead to significant financial sanctions of up to €20 million or 10% of turnover. Continued non-compliance can lead to criminal sanctions for company directors. That is extremely important. There must be a link between a platform and an individual - a human being. That is important too. We have put significant resources into the commission to enable it to hit the ground running. There are now more than 100 people working for an coimisiún, with more being recruited. Now is the time to allow it to establish itself and to work very closely with the European Commission to establish this new regulatory structure that the Deputy, quite rightly, outlined is required.


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