The committee is in public session and I welcome my colleagues and our guests. We have one item of committee business to be addressed before I call on our witnesses to present. I ask my colleagues to note the draft minutes of our public and private meetings on 12 and 13 May. Is it agreed that they are formally agreed and that no matters are arising? Agreed.
This meeting has been convened with representatives from Facebook Ireland Limited, Twitter and TikTok in the sixth of our public hearings to discuss the general scheme of the online safety and media regulation Bill 2020. I welcome the witnesses to the meeting, who will be joining remotely via Microsoft Teams. I welcome Mr. Dualta Ó Broin, head of public policy at Facebook Ireland Limited, Mr. Ronan Costello, senior public policy manager with Twitter, and Dr. Theo Bertram, director of the government affairs and public policy in TikTok. They are all very welcome.
The format of the meeting is such that I will invite witnesses to make opening statements, which will be followed by questions from members and colleagues on the committee. As the witnesses are probably aware, the committee may publish the opening statements on the website following the meeting. I will call each organisation to deliver its opening statement in the following order. We will first have Mr. Dualta Ó Broin from Facebook, Mr. Ronan Costello from Twitter and then Dr Theo Bertram from TikTok. Before I invite them to deliver their opening statements, which will be limited to three minutes per organisation and I ask the witnesses to please adhere to this as much as possible, I have some housekeeping to do and I hope they can bear with me.
Witnesses are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice that they should not criticise or make charges against any person or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable, or otherwise engage in speech that might be regarded as damaging to the good name of the person or entity. Therefore, if their statements are potentially defamatory in relation to an identifiable person or entity they will be directed to discontinue their remarks. It is imperative that they comply with any such direction. As our witnesses today are attending remotely from outside the Leinster House campus they should please note there are some limitations on parliamentary privilege and as such they may not benefit from the same level of immunity with legal proceedings as a witness physically present does. Members are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise or make charges against a person outside the House or an official either by name or in any such way as to make him or her identifiable.
I also remind members of the constitutional requirement that members should be physically present in the confines of Leinster House or the Convention Centre Dublin in order to participate in the public meeting. I will not permit a member to attend where he or she is not adhering to this constitutional requirement. Therefore, if any member attempts to do so from outside the precincts they will be asked to leave the meeting. I ask members to identify themselves when contributing for the benefit of the staff of the Debates Office preparing the Official Report. I also ask them to mute their microphones when not contributing to reduce background noise and feedback. I ask them to use the "raise your hand" button when they want to contribute and, of course, to keep their mobile phones on silent or, better again, switched off.
Our guests are very welcome and we are eager and anxious to hear from them today. As they know, the legislation we are working on is very important and their presence today will have a huge input into it. They will be afforded three minutes per statement and then we will hand over to members who will have five minutes each. If questions are directed to them, I ask the witnesses to be as concise as possible in their answers. It would be much appreciated. Please do not feel offended if I have to interrupt to keep the meeting very focused, which I intend to do. I now invite Mr. Ó Broin to make his opening statement on behalf of Facebook Ireland Limited.
As we have a technical glitch we will suspend the meeting for a few minutes to rectify it.