Fianna Fáil call for establishment of Office of Online Safety Commissioner

ireland
Fianna Fáil Call For Establishment Of Office Of Online Safety Commissioner
The Oireachtas Media Committee today will hear from Facebook, Twitter and TikTok.
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James Cox

Fianna Fáil Senator Malcolm Byrne, along with his party colleagues on the Oireachtas Media Committee, has called for the Minister with responsibility for Media, Catherine Martin, to establish the Office of the Online Safety Commissioner.

The office will have a focus on tackling online harassment and trolling, and particularly on ensuring a safe online environment for children.

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Senator Byrne outlined that Fianna Fáil is committed to the establishment of a strong Media Commission under the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill, currently before the Oireachtas Committee for pre-legislative scrutiny.

The Committee today will hear from Facebook, Twitter and TikTok.

Speaking at the meeting, Senator Byrne said, “We want the Minister to start recruitment for this new Office now. It can begin in a non- statutory way so that when we pass legislation that will give it powers, it can hit the ground running to tackle the dark side of social media.”

He pointed out that the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland will be folded into the new Media Commission and will be able to provide supports for the new office.

Senator Byrne added: “There is an urgency to this as we know that online abuse, harassment and bullying has a really negative impact on people’s lives.

“It is very clearly that the era of self-regulation by the social media companies is over.”

The Fianna Fáil group on the Committee includes Chair of the Committee Deputy Niamh Smyth, Deputy Christopher O’Sullivan, Senator Malcolm Byrne, and Senator Shane Cassells.

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