Social media giants commit to funding education campaign to combat online abuse

Longford Senator Micheál Carrigy: 'Social media companies need to take on more responsibility to ensure that their platforms are safe spaces for our teenagers'

Social media giants commit to funding education campaign to combat online abuse

Senator Micheál Carrigy, Fine Gael's Seanad Spokesperson for Media, Arts, Sports and Tourism

Social media companies have committed to funding an education campaign for schools across the country to combat online abuse, a Longford-based Fine Gael Senator has said.

At Wednesday's meeting of the Joint Committee on Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Fine Gael Media Spokesperson Senator Micheál Carrigy sought and secured commitments from Tik Tok, Facebook Ireland and Twitter to fund an all-schools educational campaign.

Speaking at the meeting, Senator Carrigy said: “We signed the Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Act into law in late 2020; a Bill which has been extremely welcome. However, tighter regulations and greater education from the platforms themselves are also urgently required.

“I welcome the financial support some companies have already contributed towards anti-bullying initiatives, but to be honest I don’t feel that’s sufficient.

“Parents and legislators can only do so much; we need further action from social media companies to educate our digital natives on the damage they and others can inflict online.

“Social media companies need to take on more responsibility to ensure that their platforms are safe spaces for our teenagers.

“As well as tackling online bullying, we also need to need to educate and inform our young people about the risk of abuse that can take place online.

“I asked Tik Tok, Facebook and Twitter to contribute to a national campaign, in conjunction with the Department of Education, to promote safe and respectful social media use across the country,” added Senator Carrigy.

All three companies pledged their support to working together with the Department of Education on a national campaign.

“I want to see a serious financial commitment made to this – social media is a major part of our lives and the global companies who make multi billion euro profits need to step up to the mark here,” concluded Senator Carrigy.

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