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Binding rules for video-sharing networks here

28 May 2024 / data law Print

Binding rules for video-sharing networks here

Coimisiún na Meán has published an updated draft Online Safety Code in response to its public consultation and will submit it to the European Commission (27 May).

The final code will set binding rules applying to video-sharing platforms that have their EU headquarters in Ireland.

Standstill period

Under the Technical Regulations Information System (TRIS) Directive process, there will now be a standstill period of three to four months, before full application of the code.

The final code will be part of Coimisiún na Meán’s overall online safety framework which makes digital services accountable for how they protect people, especially children, from harm online.

The code delivers on the objectives of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Act, which covers:

  • Prohibiting uploading or sharing of harmful content, including cyber-bullying, promoting of self-harm or suicide, eating or feeding disorders, as well as incitement to hatred or violence, terrorism, child sex abuse material, racism and xenophobia,
  • Using age assurance to prevent children from encountering pornography or gratuitous violence online and having age verification measures,
  • Providing parental controls for content that may impair the physical, mental, or moral development of children under 16.

Coimisiún na Meán will have tools to address illegal content, the harmful impacts of recommender systems, and inadequate protections for children on social media services.

Safer online world

Online Safety Commissioner Niamh Hodnett said: “It is essential to create a safer online world for all of us, especially for our children.

“This updated code is an important step forward to hold platforms to account for keeping people safe online.”

Executive chair Jeremy Godfrey said: “Alongside our powers under the EU Digital Services Act and Terrorist Content Online Regulation, the Online Safety Code will give us a strong suite of tools to improve people’s lives online. We will ensure that we use our full range of powers to improve people’s online experiences.”  

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has, however, said that is "disappointed" that measures to address algorithms have been removed from the code.

The ICCL said that a previous draft had included requirements for social media companies to turn off 'recommender systems' based on intimately profiling people.

"We are dismayed that Coimisiún na Mean has removed this essential measure," stated Dr Johnny Ryan (ICCL Senior Fellow). 

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