Facebook Dispatches proves need for Digital Safety Commissioner

Seán Sherlock TD
18 July 2018

Labour Party Justice and Children and Youth Affairs spokesperson, Seán Sherlock TD has urged the Government to reconsider its decision not to appoint a Digital Safety Commissioner in light of the Channel 4 Dispatches programme on Facebook activities.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“The Government has decided that social media companies should be allowed to continue in a libertarian way. This runs contrary to the Government’s previous commitment that they would regulate atrocious behavior by appointing a Digital Safety Commissioner.

“Instead of sticking to their promise and establishing the Digital Safety commissioner, the Government chose to trust companies who do not have a track record of trust in this area.

“Ireland is where every tech company that matters is located. To suggest that we have to wait for international best practice to evolve to move on digital safety is a cop out.

“International best practice has turned out to be international worst practice.

“I suspect that the government does not want to do anything that will upset tech giants that are located here. If they were brave they would seek to put Ireland at the vanguard of online digital safety.

“Facebook will play the Government Advisory Council for what it is – a talking shop – and I believe it has No intention of dealing honestly with Government or with the Irish people.

“All we have now is a toothless talking shop that will stall any regulation of online safety and will do nothing to assuage the fears of parents who want a safe and regulated online space.”

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