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Government not Facebook must set regulatory agenda – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

2 April, 2019 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has this afternoon called on the Government to set the regulatory agenda, rather than allowing companies such a Facebook to take the lead in that regard.
Teachta Ó Laoghaire said;
“It is incumbent on the Government as those with the powers to legislate that they set the regulatory agenda, rather than outsource that role to Facebook and other social media companies.
“It has been stated before, the day of self-regulation is over, and we as politicians need to act as a matter of priority to protect against many of the risks that social media poses.
“No one is seeking to curtail freedom of expression or free speech, but more must be done to ensure that social media corporations are not above any type of regulation.
“I note that Mark Zuckerberg has met with some TD's who sit on the Communications Committee in Dublin this afternoon, and I hope some of the details of what was discussed is made available in the next couple of hours.
“If Zuckerberg wishes for a truly public discussion on regulation he should be attending meetings in public, and there are plenty of appropriate settings existing for him to do just that, rather than meeting with elected reps behind closed doors. 

"I note he has refused to attend public meetings with the ‘Grand Committee', that the Oireachtas members are a part of, and the House of Commons.”
“I reiterate the need for the Government to progress my Digital Safety Commissioner Bill, which currently sits with the Communications Committee. 

"This is a Bill which is already in the system, and has the support of the Oireachtas Committee, rather than starting again. The longer we leave regulation of this area, the more harm is caused.
“Government must get its act together, and take control of the regulatory agenda.”

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