Press Council calls for social media regulation

PressCouncilAn independent regulatory body should be established to resolve social media complaints, the Press Council of Ireland has said.

It issued a statement following widespread reports about a man who was falsely accused of being a threat to children on the Facebook page of KildareNow, an online-only news service for County Kildare.

The man has sought redress through the Office of the Press Ombudsman, but has been knocked back because KildareNow is not a member of the purely voluntary Press Council of Ireland.

In a statement, the Press Council said: “This leaves him with no regulatory body to turn to in seeking redress.”

The Press Council and the Press Ombudsman have called for the introduction of a regulatory system for social media such as Facebook.

In its statement, it explained: “Under the current arrangements the vast majority of the press is subject to independent regulation and broadcasting is subject to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

“Social media are, however, subject to no regulation, independent or otherwise.

“They should be required to develop an independent regulatory body that would offer a fair means of redress for people who believe that information about themselves posted on social media is inaccurate or misleading.

“If social media cannot or will not put in place such structures they should be made subject to national and/or international governmental oversight.”