In this episode, Niall explores the question: Should ID be compulsory to use social media? The discussion arises from the ongoing debate surrounding the proposed Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill. Advocates argue for ID verification as a means to enhance accountability and curb online abuse.
The episode opens with insights from the Children’s Rights Alliance, CyberSafeKids, and the ISPCC, urging an end to self-regulation for tech and social media giants. The proposed legislation, currently under pre-legislative scrutiny, aims to establish the Media Commission, a powerful regulator overseeing all media, including tech companies.
Senator Malcolm Byrne of Fianna Fáil suggests a parallel with online banking, proposing that individuals should verify their identity, using a passport or other ID, when creating social media accounts. Sinn Féin’s Eoin Ó Broin agrees, emphasizing the need for accountability in cases of law breaches.
As Niall opens the lines to callers, diverse opinions emerge. Some argue against mandatory ID verification, citing concerns about privacy, freedom of expression, and potential misuse of personal information. They advocate for education and self-regulation instead.
Others support the idea, emphasizing the necessity for accountability on influential platforms. Callers suggest a balance, proposing a system where ID verification occurs without displaying personal information publicly, preserving a level of privacy while ensuring responsibility.
In wrapping up the episode, Niall navigates through the conflicting perspectives, offering insights into finding a middle ground between identity protection and holding individuals accountable for their online actions.