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Ireland to assume new EU online safety powers


Ireland’s media regulator Coimisiún na Meán has said it is ready to assume new EU online safety powers from tomorrow.

It has been tasked with enforcing the Digital Services Act (DSA) in Ireland.

All EU member states are required to have designated a ‘Digitial Services Coordinator’ by 17 February to implement the DSA in their specific countries.

Under the new rules, online platforms will have to do more when it comes to removing harmful content and tackling the spread of disinformation.

Companies face fines of up to 6% of global turnover for violating the rules and could be banned from doing business in the EU for repeated breaches.

From Monday, Coimisiún na Meán will operate a contact centre for members of the public to raise concerns about online content and to receive advice.

When users spot illegal content online, they are being encouraged to flag it with the platform which will have a duty to address it.

Because so many of the big tech firms have their European Headquarters in Ireland, the Irish regulator will also have a role in dealing with complaints from other countries.


Read more: ‘A bit of a cliff edge’ – internet watchdog on new EU powers


John Evans is the Digital Services Commissioner at Coimisiún na Meán.

“I suppose we’re looking at a little bit of a cliff edge,” Mr Evans said.

“We don’t know what’s coming exactly. We could get quite a number of complaints and because we are the channel for complaints coming from other member states as well, this is another kind of level of uncertainty that we’ve been dealing with,” he said.

“But we’re well geared up for it. We have a contact centre, we have quite a large number of agents trained and ready to go, and we have our divisional structures for matters that get escalated,” he added.

Of the 22 large platforms and search engines designated by the European Commission under the DSA, 13 of them have their European Headquarters in Ireland.

These include internet giants such as Facebook and Instagram parent Meta, TikTok, X formerly Twitter and Google.

“We’re expecting quite a big workload, but the European Commission also has a role here,” Mr Evans said.

“We’re really at the spear-tip of this in Europe,” he added.


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