Authorities must crack down on social media giants and put a cease to trolling and on-line abuse

IRISH politicians will be calling for crackdown on social media trolling this week.

Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter are grilled by an Oireachtas committee ahead of the online safety and media regulation bill.

Revelations of hate speech and online trolling were made to the Oireachtas Enterprise Committee last week

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Revelations of hate speech and online trolling were made to the Oireachtas Enterprise Committee last weekCredit: Alamy
TD Deputy Niamh Smyth

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TD Deputy Niamh SmythPhoto credit: Conor McCabe Ltd.
According to Deputy Smyth, the state needs to take a tougher stance when it comes to online abuse and harassment

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According to Deputy Smyth, the state needs to take a tougher stance when it comes to online abuse and harassmentImage credit: AP
Social media giants are being put to the test

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Social media giants are being put to the testImage credit: AP

Companies will give testimony on the proposed content of the bill and the proposed media commission, as well as the online safety commissioner’s office which will be part of the legislation. Fianna Fail members of the Oireachtas Committee on Tourism, Sports, Art, Media and Culture have called for anonymous social media accounts to be banned.

Here, the government TD and the chairman of the committee, Deputy Niamh Smyth, say the state needs to take a tougher stance when it comes to tackling the challenges of online abuse and harassment, as well as the posting of misinformation.

ONLINE SECURITY INVOICE

My confidence in the importance of the legislative review of the Online Safety and Media Regulations Act by the Oireachtas Committee on Tourism, Sports, Art, Media and Culture is absolute.

As chairman of that committee, I see this important law that establishes the media commission as key to promoting online safety and protection for everyone.

The commission will potentially be one of the most powerful regulators in the state as it will oversee all media, including the tech companies backed by the online security commissioner.

I believe we all recognize the need for comprehensive and effective regulation of online platforms. First, keeping children safe online from harm from cyberbullying, emotional abuse, caregiving, sexting, and sexual abuse and exploitation is of paramount importance.

I challenge plans to create a Facebook or Instagram for kids, and this increased focus on young people requires strict codes of conduct for tech companies. Another major concern is the well-being and well-being of workers employed as moderators at social media giants.

NERVOUS ABUSE

Last week’s blatant revelations to Isabella Plunkett’s Oireachtas Enterprise Committee highlighted worrying concerns about her work.

You are faced with the horrific nature of the material circulated on media sites including hate speech, bullying, graphic violence, suicide and sexual abuse. What is more worrying is the personal hardship, agony, and agony this material has created in these exposed workers.

Corporations may decline the importance that personal crises can develop based on their offered response and response.

Your panacea of ​​”karaoke or painting” as positive interventions is ridiculous.

The anonymity of social media accounts can no longer be allowed. I argue this on the grounds that it requires individuals to identify themselves in some way so that they can be traced if a problem arises from a post.

In too many cases, the time between posting an abusive, harmful, or potentially defamatory article and before it is addressed by the social media companies is far too long.

Media companies need to describe the quick and urgent steps they will take to remove unsafe material.

MEDIA GIANT RESPONSIBILITY

Social media companies are now bigger than platforms and could be equated as “publishers” in newspaper speeches.

Twitter and Facebook recently decided to ban Donald Trump from using their outlets.

This underscores their power to be able to ban the most influential world leader on one level, but to give up their responsibility on another level.

They certainly have a statutory duty of care towards all of their users and employees.

This legislation aims to promote the unsuccessful self-regulation of the social media industry towards positive state regulation for the benefit of all users, employees and companies.

I believe social media companies want to take action on issues that discredit them. The sad downside of social media needs to be addressed on all sides to ensure that children, vulnerable people and victims are safe when they go online.

I look forward to constructive engagement with all companies to ensure that the principles and values ​​of legislation for the betterment of society are enshrined in law.

To achieve this, a fully funded media commission must be set up, with an online safety commissioner, and given adequate powers to ensure violations are addressed and not repeated.

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The debate around these issues is evolving and the pre-legislative phases will clarify and crystallize the best future regulation.

I believe that this bill will create robust regulation for online platforms that will make Ireland one of the first countries in the world to do so systematically.

I urge Ireland to set the moral compass for social media on a global scale, where respect, integrity, equality and principles determine our reputation and standing.

Twitter and Facebook recently decided to ban Donald Trump from using their outlets

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Twitter and Facebook recently decided to ban Donald Trump from using their outletsCredit: AFP or Licensor

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