Coimisiún na Meán consults on draft Online Safety Code

December 12, 2023

Coimisiún na Meán is consulting about its draft Online Safety Code for video-sharing platform services.

Coimisiún na Meán is Ireland’s new commission for regulating broadcasters, on-demand services and online media, and supporting media development. It was established in March 2023 under the Irish Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 and builds on the work of its predecessor, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Ireland must implement Article 28b of the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive 2018. The Online Safety Code will apply specific rules to video sharing platforms. The Digital Services Act will apply to a wider set of online services from 17 February 2024.

After consultation, the finalised Code will form part of Ireland’s overall online safety framework, making digital services legally accountable for how they keep people safe online. This framework will also include the EU Digital Services Act and the EU Terrorist Content Online Regulation, enforced in Ireland by >Coimisiún na Meán.

The draft Code sets out measures that designated video-sharing platforms will be obliged to implement to keep their users, especially children, safe online. These platforms will have to protect children from specific types of harmful content. This includes cyberbullying; 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, 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, which can help people recognise disinformation and misinformation.

Once finalised, the Code will be legally binding on designated video-sharing platforms based in Ireland. Coimisiún na Meán will be able to impose fines of up to €20 million for breaches of the Code.

Coimisiún na Meán will announce the initial designated Video-Sharing Platform Services by the end of the year.