Facebook and regulation

Sir, – It is slightly surprising to hear the doubts expressed by members of the Oireachtas on the effectiveness of self-regulation with regard to social media companies. After all self-regulation has worked so well in the past in Ireland in so many different spheres! – Yours, etc,


Booterstown, Co Dublin.

Sir, – The preliminary conclusions of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, following closely after the Interim Report of the UK Parliamentary Digital, Culture Media and Sports Committee, are to be welcomed. Social media cannot be relied upon to self-regulate. The dangers of an ineffectively regulated or unregulated social media to society and to representative democracy are far too great to be ignored. Action is overdue.


Against the background of the feeble approach in the US to the examination of the ill-effects of social media, Ireland has a particular burden of responsibility to see that social media is properly and effectively regulated in a local and global context.

Ireland attracted the social media behemoths to establish their European headquarters. We have given these giants extensive support and a regime which might be described as highly tax efficient. We have adjusted our industrial polices and employment laws to facilitate social media. We could not have done more to make Ireland a clement and highly favourable environment for social media enterprises to operate from. With this munificent treatment of global social media enterprises comes a duty to lead in the emerging international movement to impose effective regulation, however belatedly so, on social media. Ireland must lead, not just react, in this vital task. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 4.