Coimisiún na Meán: public consultation on Ireland’s first Online Safety Code

posted on 18 December, 2023   (public)

Irish regulator launches a consultation on binding rules for video-sharing platforms to keep adults and children safe online

*News item updated on 09.01.24 with link to designated VSPs under Irish jurisdiction

On 8 December 2023, the Coimisiún na Meán (CNaM) opened a public consultation on the first draft of the Irish Online Safety Code

Following the Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022, relevant online services under Irish jurisdiction shall comply with a binding Online Safety Code to be drafted by the CNaM.

A first version of the Code, built on the views collected during summer among the civil society and the industry, is now open to public consultation

The draft Online Safety Code aims at covering, with a holistic and safety by design approach, Article 28b of the Directive (EU) 2018/1808 (Audiovisual Media Services Directive) transposed in the Broadcasting Act 2009 by the Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022. 

Under the code, online platforms under Irish jurisdiction will be obliged to implement on their services features and measures aimed at protecting children and the general public from: 

- illegal harmful content (content punishable under criminal law)
- regulated harmful content (such as cyber-bullying, age-inappropriate content, encouragement of self-harm, incitement of violence based on discriminatory grounds)
- harmful audiovisual commercial communications (such as advertising exploiting children credulity, promoting discrimination or encouraging unhealthy behaviour). 

The CNaM has launched the process to designating the online platforms under Irish jurisdiction. The list should be publicly released in the coming weeks*

Designated online platforms will face significant fines (up to 10% of the relevant annual turnover or €20 million) if they do not implement effective protective measures on their services. 

The Online Safety Code will be applied in parallel with the other European legislation framework: the Digital Services Act and the Regulation on addressing the dissemination of terrorist content online. The CNaM will enforce the DSA in Ireland from 17 February 2024 when the legislation becomes fully applicable its formal powers as Ireland’s Digital Services Coordinator commence.

According to Niamh Hodnett, the Online Safety Commissioner, “Coimisiún na Meán is determined to use its full suite of powers to keep people safe online. The publication of the draft Code is a milestone in the move from self-regulation by platforms to effective regulation". 

Once finalised, the Code will be submitted to the European Commission for approval. 

Deadline to send responses:  now extended to 31 January 2024

* Update: On 9 January 2024, the CNaM published details of the designation of 10 video-sharing platform services under Irish jurisdiction. The designation process for these services was completed during December 2023. The designated VSPs are: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Udemy, TikTok, LinkedIn, X, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit.


The Coimisiún na Meán (CNaM) in a nutshell: Established in March 2023 under the Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022, the CNaM is Ireland’s new commission for regulating broadcasters, on-demand services and online media, and supporting media development. It replaces the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and is led by an Executive Chair and four Commissioners.



See also