LABOUR Party TD for Carlow Kilkenny, Deputy Ann Phelan, has today welcomed the first moves taken by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications, of which she is a member, to examine what can be done to provide strict rules and regulations for Social Media and other Internet publications
The committee heard today from Minister for Communications, Deputy Pat Rabbitte, in what was the first of four meetings where the Committee would hear from interested stakeholders. Also at the meeting was Dr Deirdre O’Keeffe from the Office of Internet Safety, who holds responsibility for internet safety
Deputy Phelan pointed out that there seems to be some confusion about responsibility with what is published on the Internet, but went on to say
that the Defamation Act covers everything that is printed, be it on the Internet or not, and gives protection to the public. Difficulties do arise
where articles are published outside of our jurisdiction
One area that will be teased out in the forthcoming meetings will be the ‘take-down’ policy of offensive material that has been published on
particular websites. Each and every website has their own rules in this area, but it must be said that an effective procedure, signed up to by all websites, should be brought in, as too many people had difficulties in contacting websites to have offensive material removed
The Committee is looking forward to hearing from representatives from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in the coming days
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