Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Ceisteanna (496)

Duncan Smith


496. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media her plans to help regulate social media companies to prevent online abuse and to ensure safety of their users; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40813/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Tourism)

The Online Safety and Media Regulation (OSMR) Bill will establish a multi-person Media Commission, including an Online Safety Commissioner, dissolve the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, establish regulatory frameworks for online safety and the regulation of audiovisual media services, and transpose the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

It will be the role of the Online Safety Commissioner to oversee the regulatory framework for online safety. As part of the framework, the Commissioner will devise binding online safety codes that will set out how regulated online services, including social media services, are expected to deal with certain defined categories of harmful online content on their platforms. The defined categories of harmful online content include criminal material, serious cyberbullying material and material promoting self-harm, suicide and eating disorders.

In the event of failure to comply with a relevant online safety code, and subject to Court approval, the Media Commission will have the power to sanction non-compliant online services, including through financial sanctions of up to €20m or 10% of turnover.

Detailed legal drafting of the Bill by the Office of the Attorney General is near completion. In addition to this, the Joint Oireachtas Committee has commenced pre-legislative scrutiny of the General Scheme of the Bill, including oral hearings which began on 13 April 2021.