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Wednesday 16 October 2019

'Regulators don't have resources to police web'


Trouble-shooter Kieran Mulvey. Picture: Collins
Trouble-shooter Kieran Mulvey. Picture: Collins
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ireland "doesn't have the resources" to police online content and the activities of internet giants such as YouTube and Facebook, according to labour relations veteran Kieran Mulvey.

"I know we're making gallant efforts in this area, but we don't have the resources," he said.

Mr Mulvey is also a non-executive director of INM, the publisher of the Irish Independent.

"You're up against companies that are bigger than most of the economies in the world. Our regulators are not equipped to do this. This should be done on a more European level," he said.

He was speaking after an extraordinary general meeting of INM shareholders in Dublin yesterday, where they approved the €145m sale of the group to Dutch-Belgian firm Mediahuis.

The deal still has to secure ministerial and court approval.

Last weekend, the 'Sunday Independent' reported that under proposals being considered by Government, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) would regulate video content on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube across Europe.

The BAI currently regulates Irish commercial radio and television, as well as RTÉ and TG4. Securing a Europe-wide mandate for social media channels would be a major coup for the BAI.

Mr Mulvey said that a small number of large internet companies are hoovering up advertising that has been the backbone of traditional media organisations.

He added that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and other international organisations that are engaged in oversight of taxation should also "be investigating these companies".

He said a collective view on how EU member states should deal with and react to matters that arise in relation to social media and other internet giants "still hasn't emerged", adding: "We need a better approach. We need a more equitable approach."

Irish Independent

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