“Facebook’s content moderators are at the coalface of this issue and may often be the first people to see instances of child abuse online.”

Social Democrats Spokesperson for Children Cllr Jennifer Whitmore today called on the Minister for Children to examine making Facebook content moderators who review videos of physical abuse legally obliged to report.

Cllr Whitmore’s call comes in the wake of last night’s exposé on Channel 4’s Dispatches programme which showed that Facebook moderators allowed violent videos, including assaults on children, to remain online after they were reported by viewers.

Cllr Whitmore said:

“I urge the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, to examine whether Facebook’s content moderators in Dublin could be legally obliged to report any knowledge that a child has been harmed.

“The reporting requirements that already exist come under the Children First Act 2015 and Children First Guidance 2017. Facebook’s content moderators are at the coalface of this issue and may often be the first people to see instances of child abuse online.

“The government must step in and regulate this area properly, and that also means appointing a Digital Safety Commissioner with significant powers. Pending any new statutory obligations, Facebook needs to walk the walk by taking urgent and meaningful steps to assure parents that their children’s safety and privacy is safeguarded online.”

ENDS

18 July 2018