The new media watchdog, Coimisiún na Meán (CnaM), has opened a public consultation on a draft Online Safety Code for services provided by video-sharing platforms.
The regulator says that the draft code sets out measures that designated video-sharing platforms will be obliged to implement to keep their users, especially children, safe online.
Video-sharing platforms include services such as YouTube, and video content shared on other social-media platforms.
Under the code, platforms will have to protect children from specific types of harmful content, such as:
- Online content that promotes or encourages a feeding or eating disorder, and
- Online content that promotes or encourages self-harm or suicide.
The measures include using “robust” age-verification technology to make sure that children are not exposed to inappropriate content, such as pornography.
As part of these measures, CnaM says, parents must also be given the tools to ensure that children do not encounter illegal or harmful content online.
Platforms will have to prevent the uploading or sharing of a range of illegal content – including incitement to hatred or violence. They will also have to provide media-literacy tools for users, to help people recognise disinformation and misinformation.
Once finalised, the code will be legally binding on designated video-sharing platforms based in Ireland.
CnaM will be able to impose fines of up to €20 million for breaches.
Niamh Hodnett (Online Safety Commissioner) described the publication of the draft code as “a milestone in the move from self-regulation by platforms to effective regulation”.
She said that the draft document was informed by views gathered over the summer from civil-society organisations and the industry.
“Once the consultation closes, we will move to finalise Ireland’s first online-safety code. We will be seeking approval from the European Commission to implement the code,” Hodnett stated.
The consultation is open for responses until Friday 19 January 2024.
The finalised code will form part of Ireland’s overall online-safety framework, which will also include the EU Digital Services Act and the EU Terrorist Content Online Regulation, enforced in Ireland by CnaM.