Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Timmy Dooley has said that the recent streaming on social media of murders being committed must be addressed urgently.

“Recently, we have seen footage of a child being murdered in Thailand being still available to view for some 24 hours after the event is simply not acceptable.

“Of course there are certain logistical difficulties in regulating the activity of a network with almost 2 billion users worldwide, but the owners of social media platforms need to do more, and cannot allow such activities to continue.

“Why did Facebook take 24 hours to take down the video stream? It seems incredible to me that a company the size of Facebook, with the resources they have at their disposal, were unable to take it down more quickly.

“If seems to me that the process of reporting unacceptable content on Facebook is too cumbersome, and that Facebook don’t make it easy for users to ensure that inappropriate content is removed in a timely and efficient manner.

“There are sometimes three or four hurdles to jump over before a report is submitted. Perhaps Facebook should look at its processes, and introduce a single step 999 type function on the website, and have a dedicated team working 24/7 to deal with such reports? This would speed up the process considerably, and ensure that similar episodes don’t happen again in the future.

“Customers need to be educated about the process. Facebook, and other social media providers, need to roll out a global education and awareness campaign to inform users how to report such activity.

“On a broader point, it shouldn’t be the responsibility solely of users to report inappropriate activity or content. Facebook has an obligation itself to monitor all content and ensure that inappropriate, and harmful, material is removed as quickly as possible.

“Facebook may provide the sewer not the sewage but it must work to minimise the side-effects. They cannot be exempt from responsibility for the inappropriate use of their platforms, especially if trauma is inflicted on users.

“Facebook is conducting a review of its policies in the wake of recent events. Such a review should result in this €350 billion company becoming more pro-active in monitoring how its services are used,” concluded Dooley.