I thank the Deputy for raising this important question.
Content moderators working for social media platforms play an important role in preventing the wider distribution of explicit content on these platforms.
Social media content moderators should be treated by an employer in the same way as any other worker exposed to a potential harm. The employer must ensure that the employee has been provided with the appropriate training before taking on the role. The employer must also ensure that procedures are in place to identify workplace risks, with supports in place to avoid employees being affected by a workplace psycho-social hazard or stressor.
In the first instance, every employer is legally obliged to carry out a risk assessment with a particular focus on work that may be hazardous to the worker and prepare a safety statement. A written safety statement should set out how an employer will protect the safety and health of all employees and include an assessment of the risks involved. Proper risk assessment along with mitigation measures, is the foundation for all workplace health and safety.
The Health and Safety Authority, HSA, has an extensive range of advisory and guidance material available to all employers to assist them in putting in place measures to identify and manage specific psycho-social hazards. Promoting positive mental health within the workplace is good for the employees, but it is also a factor in improving overall business performance.
Any content moderator working for a social media platform, with a concern for his or her health and safety arising from the manner in which his or her work is organised, should contact the HSA in confidence. On foot of the Deputy's question, I made inquiries with the authority and I am informed that it has not received any queries relating to content.
In addition, An Garda Síochána investigates the posting and circulation on social media platforms of certain acts and images of an explicit nature, which if found to be unlawful, can lead to prosecution. My colleague, the Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Deputy Catherine Martin, is responsible for media policy, including online safety legislation, and is currently advancing a regulatory framework that will deal with online safety.