A Kildare TD's bill on Social Media & Online Advertising Transparency has passed through second stage in the Dáil.
The legislation was supported by Fianna Fáil who proposed it, by Sinn Féin, Labour, Greens, Social Democrats, Rural Independent Group and some independent deputies.
Govt. parties, Fine Gael and the Independent Alliance, voted against it.
Deputy James Lawless, who drafted and proposed the legislation says " The bill does contain measures to ensure that the new 5 million strategic communications unit, which the Taoiseach has commissioned, remains politically neutral and I suspect this is motivating the government's opposition. If this unit is only providing a public information service as the government have claimed, then why would they not get behind the bill? You have to ask the question, who is afraid of transparency?"
"The passing of this legislation onwards to committee stage is a step forward for integrity and robustness in our online political debates, in the same way as is already applied in traditional media. The bill should be seen in the same vein of law as the lobbying acts, campaign finance rules, standard in public office and the electoral acts. But adding a new dimension for modern technology." ownload a high resolution image of James Lawless T.D. - click here.