Thursday, 22 April 2021
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
42. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to introduce measures to restrict access by children to pornography on smartphones; if internet service providers have a role to play in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20943/21]
The Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill will, among other things, empower an Online Safety Commissioner, as part of a new multi-person Media Commission, to issue online safety guidance materials regarding measures to reduce the risk of exposure of minors to age-inappropriate online content. In line with the overall approach of the Bill, guidance materials will focus on systemic measures which an online service can take in order to reduce the exposure of children to that content.
Content which falls under the definition of age-inappropriate online content as set out in the General Scheme of the Bill, includes:
- material containing or comprising gross or gratuitous violence;
- material containing or comprising cruelty towards humans or animals; and,
- material containing or comprising pornography.
The Bill will also provide that online services must have regard to online safety guidance materials in the context of their operations. These provisions of the Bill are device neutral and would apply to online services regardless of how they are accessed.
The General Scheme of the OSMR Bill is currently under-going pre-legislative scrutiny by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. Meanwhile, the Office of the Attorney General is continuing detailed drafting of the Bill.