Carrigy calls on social media giants to fund education campaign in schools to combat online abuse

19th December 2020 - Senator Micheál Carrigy

Fine Gael Senator Micheál Carrigy has called on social media companies to help fund an education campaign in schools to combat online abuse.

Senator Carrigy’s comments came as the Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill, otherwise known as Coco’s Law, passed through the Seanad yesterday.

Senator Carrigy said: “I strongly believe that social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter have a much stronger role to play in regulating their platforms.

“I am calling on these companies to fund an education campaign in schools across the country to combat online abuse.

“As social media continues to evolve and influence the lives of young people, the platforms involved must take more responsibility in ensuring they are safe places for teens.

“I am delighted with the work my Fine Gael colleague, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, has done to prioritise Coco’s Law this year, which will prevent the sharing of intimate images and criminalise online harassment and bullying.

“While this legislation is extremely welcome, tighter regulation and greater education from the platforms themselves is also urgently required.

“The impact of online abuse on mental health can be devastating, especially to our teenagers and young people.

“Parents and legislators can do so much, but we need further action to educate our digital natives on the dangers they and others can cause online.

“We must all commend the tireless work Dublin mother Jackie Fox has put in to helping bring about Coco’s Law in memory of her daughter.

“The social media platforms must now do more to regulate and educate on the issue of online bullying,” Senator Carrigy concluded.

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