Thursday, 17 November 2022
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
171. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which she can influence practice and high standards throughout social media in the future; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57213/22]
Social media has become a big part of everyone’s lives. It is important that people, in particular young people, can feel safe using social media while they are online. The Online Safety and Media Regulation (OSMR) Bill will establish a regulatory framework for online safety, to be overseen by an Online Safety Commissioner, who will be part of a multi-person new Media Commission (to be known as Coimisiún na Meán).
The Online Safety Commissioner will devise binding online safety codes that set out how designated online services, including certain social media platforms, are expected to deal with defined categories of harmful online content. The codes will help instil a culture of best practice.
Harmful online content includes that which is linked to one or more of 42 existing criminal offences, serious cyber-bullying, material which promotes or encourages eating disorders, self-harm, or suicide, or makes available knowledge of the means of self-harm or suicide. The Bill will allow Coimisiún na Meán to propose additional categories of harmful online content, subject to Oireachtas approval, which will help to ensure that the regulatory framework is flexible and responsive.
The OSMR Bill completed Dáil Committee stage on 26 October 2022. It is scheduled to undergo Report Stage in the coming weeks with the aim of enactment before year-end.