Reddit challenge to online safety code designation to be heard in May

Reddit Challenge To Online Safety Code Designation To Be Heard In May
Reddit Inc, of Wilmington, Delaware, claims it does not meet the definition of a video-sharing platform.
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High Court Reporters

The High Court has set two days in May for the hearing of a challenge by Reddit against a decision to include the chat forum host in a list of video-sharing platforms to be regulated under a new online safety code.

Ms Justice Niamh Hyland said she accepted the case, one of a number being brought by media companies over the new code, is urgent.


The court heard one of the reasons for this is that Ireland is facing infringement proceedings in the European Court of Justice for failing to transpose EU law on the regulatory framework for audio-visual media, including traditional TV broadcasters, video-sharing platform services and on-demand services.

On Monday, the judge granted leave to Andrew Fitzpatrick SC, for Reddit Incorporated, to bring judicial review proceedings against the media regulator, Comimisiún na Meán, seeking to quash its December 2023 decision to designate Reddit as a named video-sharing platform service.

Reddit Inc, of Wilmington, Delaware, claims it does not meet the definition of a video-sharing platform under the relevant EU Audio Visual and Media Services (AVMS) directive which was implemented here by the Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022.

Until the code now proposed by the regulator is fully implemented, the AVMS directive will not have been fully transposed which means the EU infringement case remains active.


Mr Fitzpatrick told the court his client believed this case and a similar case being taken by US blogging site Tumblr should be heard together.

The main difference between his side and the regulator was when the hearing should take place.

Paul Gallagher SC, for the Coimisiún, said his side did not oppose the granting of leave but they wanted an earlier hearing date than suggested by Reddit.

He did not believe the Reddit and Tumblr cases should be heard together as there were some very important differences between them.


There should not be any delay in hearing the matter given the urgency created by the EU infringement proceedings, he said.

His client has also informed Reddit the new code will not be implemented until the middle of May.

The regulator also did not believe there would be a need to refer the matter to the EU Court of Justice as proposed by Reddit in its proceedings, he said.

The judge said it may be that the Tumblr and Reddit cases should be heard together, but hopefully she could facilitate both at a May hearing.

She set two days aside for the hearing and approved directions proposed by Reddit for the exchange of papers.

If there was any slippage in progress to get the case on, the parties could return to court.

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