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UPDATE: International Grand Committee on Disinformation and ‘Fake News’ Dublin, Ireland – Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 November 2019

6 Samh 2019, 13.06

Law makers from nine countries are gathering in Leinster House, this evening for the third meeting of the International Grand Committee (IGC) on Disinformation and ‘Fake News’.

The ICG - which is an international gathering of politicians, who meet to discuss the behaviour and regulation of social media platforms – will open in public session tomorrow morning, Thursday, 7 November in the Seanad Chamber at 9am.

Hildegarde Naughton TD, Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communication, Climate Action and Environment, is chairing the meeting.

Deputy Naughton said: “It’s significant that this meeting is being held in Dublin which is home to the European headquarters of tech giants – Facebook, Twitter, Google and LinkedIn. Social media has created a connected, online global community but concerns around fake news, transparency in political advertising, the protection of young people and vulnerable adults, and online privacy and security are intensifying.

“The International Grand Committee brings together international parliamentarians with a particular responsibility in this area. We will be joined by parliamentarians from eight other countries including the United States and Australia who are participating for the first time. Together, we hope that this significant meeting in Dublin will lead to the creation of a roadmap to ensure a safer and more secure online experience for everyone.”

How to advance international collaboration in the regulation of harmful content, hate speech and electoral interference online is the theme of the meeting. At the end of the meeting, the IGC intends to agree a set of principles to underpin international collaboration in tackling these issues while at the same time respecting freedom of speech.

Witnesses before the ICG include award winning journalist and 2019 Pulitzer prize nominee Carole Cadwalladr; Facebook’s Vice President of Content Policy, Monika Bickert; Irish Data Protection Commissioner, Helen Dixon and Web Foundation Chief Executive Officer Adrian Lovett.

The first session will begin with evidence of online harm, hate speech and electoral interference.

 There are five distinct sessions throughout the day, from 9am to 5.30pm which are:

  • The Evidence. What does the evidence on online harm, hate speech and electoral interference tell us about the nature of the problem? What most urgently needs to be addressed?
  • Industry perspective. How can industry be a part of the solution?
  • The state of play in regulation. What are relevant existing regulatory structures, how will they change and what legislative proposals are pending?
  • International collaboration. How can national parliaments come together on the issue of regulation?
  • Deliberation

Each expert witness will make a short opening statement. This will be followed by a Questions and Answer session.

The ICG is holding a press conference, at the end of the meeting, in Leinster House, Meeting Room 2 (Thursday) at 5.30p.m.

Deputy Naughton will be joined by parliamentarians from Argentina, Finland, Georgia, Singapore, USA, Estonia, Australia and United Kingdom.          

View the full updated agenda of tomorrow’s public meeting

View a list of visiting parliamentarians.                                                    

The ICG, which met for the first time in the UK last November and in Canada in May, is meeting in private session this evening (Wednesday) in Leinster House.

Media enquiries:
Petrina Vousden, Press Officer, Houses of the Oireachtas, Landline: 01-6183437 Mobile: 085 8745295

Seats in the Seanad Chamber press gallery are limited. If you would like to attend the IGC meeting in the Seanad Chamber please apply for accreditation on a first come, first served basis by e-mail to pressoffice@oireachtas.ie by 5pm today, Wednesday 6 November.

If you would like to attend the 5.30pm  press conference in Meeting Room 2, Leinster House, tomorrow,  please apply for accreditation to pressoffice@oireachtas.ie by 5pm today, Wednesday, 6 November.

View full live coverage of the proceedings of the committee and the press conference following on the Seanad 

For higher resolution versions of the proceedings if required, please contact broadcast@oireachtas.ie

Members of the Oireachtas can be interviewed on the Leinster House campus, through arrangement with the clerk of the committee Gina.Long@oireachtas.ie

Members of the International Grand Committee from international parliaments can be interviewed in the Oireachtas Broadcasting Unit in Kildare House, Kildare Street, through arrangement with the Broadcast Manager Donnacha.Mckeon@oireachtas.ie

Comhaltas coiste


Fianna Fáil

Fianna Fáil


Hildegarde Naughton - Cathaoirleach

Fine Gael

Green Party

Solidarity - People Before Profit


Fianna Fáil

Fine Gael


Fine Gael