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Social Media

Facebook parent company Meta and TikTok decline invite to Oireachtas committee

Twitter did not respond to the invite nor were they contactable by telephone.

FACEBOOK’S PARENT COMPANY Meta and TikTok have both declined invitations to appear before the Oireachtas Media Committee next week.

The committee had planned to hold a session on the social media platform’s future business model plans and long-term vision for the media sector.

In correspondence seen by The Journal, Susan Moss, Head of Public Policy for TikTok said the company “endeavours to be open about our approach to building trust and safety among our Irish and global community”. 

“We would welcome a future opportunity to engage with the committee on TikTok’s approach to data governance and our Trust & Safety operations here in Ireland,” she said. 

However, she noted that TikTok did not make a submission to the public consultation on the Future of Media Commission, and therefore on this particular discussion topic, she must respectfully decline the invitation to appear on 19 April.

“Promoting a positive and safe experience on TikTok is our first priority, and as you may be aware, we gave substantial evidence on the responsibilities of TikTok to its community,” said Moss.

In an email to the committee, Dualta Ó Broin, Head of Public Policy at Meta Ireland, wrote that there is little that Meta would be in a position to share beyond what the committee would already be aware of.

“As a result, having considered the request carefully, I can’t see the benefit to either side of Meta attending this proposed session,” Mr Ó Broin wrote.

“Meta welcomes the opportunity to engage with the Joint Committee, and would be happy to do so where the subject or focus of the proposed discussion is clear and where the Committee is engaging with all relevant stakeholders within the internet ecosystem,” he added.

Twitter not reachable 

Committee members were also informed that Twitter were also invited to the meeting next week however, Twitter have not responded to the invitation. Members were also informed that it has not been possible to make contact with the organisation by phone.

Fianna Fáil TD Malcolm Byrne, who sits on the committee, said in recent weeks the committee has been looking at the future of the media in Ireland.

“We are engaging with a wide range of stakeholders. We have a particular focus on combating misinformation and tackling disinformation and on ways to enhance media literacy. This is to influence government policy and future legislation and regulation. We have been working in an effective cross party manner and the input of the social media platforms on these issues will be useful,” he said.

He told The Journal that it was “disappointing” that the social media platforms had decided not to accept their invitation.

“We will continue to work on these issues. We will, of course, continue to also engage privately with the companies. The rapidly changing technological world in which we live requires informed citizens as well as evidence based debate and respect for truth,” he said.

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