I propose to take Questions Nos. 461 and 464 together.
On 4 March 2019 I announced proposals for an Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill to tackle the spread of harmful online content and launched a public consultation to gather feedback on the proposals.
The public consultation closed on 15 April 2019. A wide a varied range of responses were received to the consultation, from members of the public, NGOs, industry and government agencies. These responses, which were published on 27 June 2019, are currently being considered to inform the development of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill. Furthermore, a thematic analysis of the submissions identifying key themes and issues was published on 25 July 2019.
This legislation will set a clear expectation for online platforms to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the users of their service and will provide for the appointment of an Online Safety Commissioner as part of the regulatory structure overseeing the new system. It will also provide for the implementation of the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive in Ireland, which sets out new EU rules for Video Sharing Platform Services. At European level, my Department is represented on the Contact Committee that is assisting the European Commission in developing guidelines on aspects of the Directive's implementation.
It would be impossible to protect children from every danger online, but we must ensure that robust regulation is in place, that parents and students are equipped to deal with the risks, and that social media and online platforms take responsibility.
Issues relating to criminality and child safety and child development and children's rights are matters for my colleagues the Minister for Justice and Equality and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs respectively.