Social media and video sharing sites to come under strict safety rules enforced by Irish regulator

Coimisiún na Meán said a forthcoming code will carry potential fines of up to €20 million and tackle harmful content, particularly that affecting children

Facebook, Instagram and X, formerly known as Twitter, are among 10 video-sharing services that will come under strict online safety rules enforced by the new Irish regulator.

Aimed at online companies based in Ireland, a forthcoming code will carry potential fines of up to €20 million and tackle harmful content, particularly that affecting children.

On Tuesday, the new regulator Coimisiún na Meán officially designated ten household name companies as video sharing services it will police under new provisions currently out to public consultation.

Youtube, TikTok, Tumblr, Reddit, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Udemy will also come under the new regime which aims at placing responsibility for safe online activity on those providers engaged in facilitating the sharing of video content.


Among the measures included in the draft is a mechanism by which platforms facilitating pornography may have to seek passport or other official documentary proof of age, as well as live selfies for verification.

A finalised code will form part of Ireland’s overall online safety framework, taking effect from February this year, based on the Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022, the EU Digital Services Act and the EU Terrorist Content Online Regulation.

Although only applicable to tech companies with bases in Ireland, Coimisiún na Meán hopes much of its approach to regulation will ultimately influence other EU member states, leading to similar rules regimes.

In a recent interview with The Irish Times the new regulator’s executive chair Jeremey Godfrey said its objective for 2024 is that “by the end of it we can look back and say things are better now for the public than they were at the beginning of the year.”

Whatever the final wording, the ten video-sharing platforms will be obliged to protect users from various harmful material, taking in cyberbullying and content that promotes or encourages eating disorders, 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,” the regulator set out as part of its public consultation phase.

“As part of these measures, parents must also be given the tools to ensure that children do not encounter illegal or harmful content online.”

In an era of increasing focus on such content and the problems associated with it, the code will also attempt to ensure companies prevent the uploading or sharing of incitement to hatred or violence videos, and provide media literacy tools to help people recognise disinformation and misinformation.

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Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times