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Minister Rabbitte addresses Dáil on the Growth of Social Media and tackling Cyberbullying

Dublin, 24 January 2014

Minister Rabbitte today addressed the Dáil on the Joint Oireachtas Committee Report on the Growth of Social Media and tackling Cyberbullying.

The Minister welcomed the Report saying:

“The vast scale and dynamic nature of content available on the internet has made it an essential tool in the daily lives of millions of Irish people. However, this dynamism and reach can pose challenges for young and old alike. Society and the State need to continually evaluate how best to deal with this.”

He responded to a number of issues contained in the report including the growth of social media and the current legislative and policy frameworks for dealing with bullying and harassment online.

He outlined his views on the further development of effective policy in this area and pointed to his establishment of the Internet Content Governance Advisory Group in December last year to provide him with expert advice in this area.

The Minister also announced the launch of a public consultation by this Group today:

“The Group has deliberately designed this consultation around a number of key questions facing policy makers in the area of social media. These include bullying and harassment and access to age inappropriate content online. The Group’s consultation is a major opportunity for people to contribute to the debate about online content. In particular to explore how best we protect children and young people while safeguarding freedom of speech and freedom of expression online.”

The consultation will run until the end of February and comments received will be considered by the Group in their preparation of recommendations by the summer.

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