Monday 16 September 2019

Facebook says move 'a threat to expression'

Stock Image: PA
Stock Image: PA
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Facebook will argue that plans for a digital safety commissioner have the potential to interfere with freedom of expression.

The internet giant will today warn TDs that efforts to restrict harmful or offensive activity online needs to be balanced.

While saying it "understand the motivation" behind wanting to establish a single body that is authorised to pass judgment on alleged harmful content, Facebook will add that it could result in the Irish courts issuing orders for incidents outside this country.

The points are made in a submission lodged with the Oireachtas Committee on Communications ahead of an appearance by Niamh Sweeney, Facebook's head of public policy.

Representatives of Google will also appear today where they will raise similar issues.

The committee is considering legislation brought forward by Sinn Féin's Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire for a digital safety commissioner who would be the key arbitrator of internet activity in Ireland.

Irish Independent

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