Pat Rabbitte introduces Bill to outlaw sinister social media content

Former minister says Bill will support abuse victims and help Garda enforcement

Former minister Pat Rabbitte told the Dáil the legislation ‘will make it an offence for a person to send or cause to be sent by means of public electronic communications network’. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Former minister Pat Rabbitte told the Dáil the legislation ‘will make it an offence for a person to send or cause to be sent by means of public electronic communications network’. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

 

Former minister for communications Pat Rabbitte has introduced legislation to outlaw offensive and sinister content on social media.

Mr Rabbitte told the Dáil the legislation “will make it an offence for a person to send or cause to be sent by means of public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or menacing in character”.

He said the Public Electronic Communications Networks (Improper Use) Bill would close a legal loophole.

“It will support victims of abuse, and it will strengthen the capacity of the Garda Síochána to deal with reports of offences,” Mr Rabbitte said.

The Communications Regulations (Amendment) Act 2007 excludes electronic communications or social media.

An internet content advisory group last year recommended that all electronic communications be included in the 2007 Act to “prohibit the sending of messages which are grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing”.