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Coimisiún na Meán publishes Information Pack for all election candidates

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Coimisiún na Meán has today (23.05.2024) published an Information Pack for all election candidates in the upcoming Local and European elections. The aim of this pack is to provide information on the role of Coimisiún na Meán and to offer guidance for candidates on what to do when they are faced with harmful and/or illegal content online. The Pack includes further information on the rights of users under the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the reporting channels for various platforms.

The information pack will be shared with political parties and is also available on the Coimisiún na Meán website here and across An Coimisiún’s social media channels, for candidates to access easily. Coimisiún na Meán recognises that during election times, candidates are at an increased risk of suffering online harm. Under the DSA, very large online platforms and search engines have a duty to assess risks that their services may pose. This includes a risk to civic discourse and the electoral process. The main message for Coimisiún na Meán to election candidates is to report content they think is illegal or a breach of a platform’s own rules directly to the platform. Following that, if candidates believe that the platforms have not actioned illegal content once reported, they can make a complaint to Coimisiún na Meán via the contact centre. Any immediate threats or risks to life should be reported straight to the Gardaí.

As part of Coimisiún na Meán’s commitment to ensure a thriving, diverse, creative, trusted, and safe media landscape we want to ensure that a variety of voices and opinions to be heard during election times, and which support the agency of voters to make a free and informed choice. This is done in a number of ways, including through the regulation of broadcasters by way of the Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality and the regulation of online platforms through An Coimisiún’s Online Safety Framework, principally the Digital Services Act.

Coimisiún na Meán will ensure that online platforms are responsible for how they enforce their own policies and how they meet their DSA obligations. The June elections will be the first to take place since An Coimisiún commenced the role of Digital Services Coordinator in February this year.