8 Mar 2021, 16.30
The Joint Committee on Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht has contacted a number of social media companies and online messaging services following media reports such platforms may have been “used inappropriately to disseminate misinformation and plan events in contravention of current emergency Public Health Regulations”.
Committee Chair Deputy Niamh Smyth said: “The Committee notes recent media reports that groups may have used such platforms to co-ordinate activity at an event held in Dublin on 27 February last.”
The Committee “recognises and values freedom of expression and further recognises the very many benefits of social media platforms and messaging services, particularly currently at this time of increased social distancing,” she said.
Deputy Smyth said: “We are extending to the online service operators the opportunity to outline to the Committee if any enhanced measures have been implemented by their platforms to actively work towards the monitoring, moderating and swift removal of material that promote misinformation or non-compliance with existing public health regulations and/or material that could be potentially harmful or result in violence.
The Deputy added: “The Committee would urge all affected platforms to fulfil their social responsibility towards their users and towards the wider community in enforcing any applicable community standards to this end.”
The Joint Committee on Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht has 14 Members, nine from the Dáil and five from the Seanad.