Westminster report is wake-up call to social media firms – Naughton

-   Hildegarde Naughton TD

The Chair of the Oireachtas Communications Committee, Hildegarde Naughton, said the final report of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee in Westminster should serve as a wake-up call to social media firms.

The 108-page report followed a wide-ranging study of the spread of malicious content online.

Deputy Naughton said: “As Chair of the Oireachtas Communications Committee, and as someone who also participated in the Westminster Hearings (the International Grand Committee), the subject of this report by the DCMS Committee, I very much welcome the robust recommendations of the Committee.

“This report is the result of a long period of detailed scrutiny of social media platforms and their practices.

“There is absolutely no doubt that social media platforms need to be regulated and harmful and illegal content removed as a matter of priority. This is not happening at present.

“I have been at the fore in calling for such regulation in Ireland and am determined to use my chairmanship of the committee to bring some accountability to social media firms.

“At our meeting this afternoon (Communications Committee) we will consider the first draft of our Report on the Detailed Scrutiny of the Digital Safety Commissioner Bill 2017. The Committee members are united in our position that Irish legislation is required to regulate social media.  The Government have accepted this position and have agreed that the days of self-regulation are over.

“We also need to ensure that the international community moves in tandem so as to ensure children and young adults are protected while, at the same time,  safeguarding free speech. In that regard I will be attending the next meeting of the International Grand Committee in Canada in May.

“The ‘International Grand Committee’ represents 170 million users in the countries these parliamentary committees represent.

“The goal of our parliamentary committees is to scrutinise digital policy, including disinformation and the governance of the internet,” Deputy Naughton said.

ENDS

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