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Spot It. Flag It. Stop It.

Coimisiún na Meán has launched an information campaign about combatting illegal content online, based on the provisions of the EU Digital Services Act.

Coimisiún na Meán is Ireland’s body for regulating broadcasters, on-demand services and online media, and supporting media development. As such, they are responsible for Ireland’s Online Safety Framework. This framework makes digital services accountable for how they protect people, especially children, from harm online.

Three different pieces of legislation form the Online Safety Framework:

  • The Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022, the basis for our Online Safety Code
  • The EU Digital Services Act
  • The EU Terrorist Content Online Regulation

As part of their work in this area, Coimisiún na Meán have launched a campaign to raise awareness about combatting illegal content online. The ‘Spot it. Flag it. Stop it’ campaign helps people to recognise illegal content online and provides guidance about how to report it.

Content is illegal if it is in breach of the law of Ireland or another EU Member State, or of EU law. There are a number of criminal offences under Irish law that may be applicable to the types of online content that often cause concern.

Users are advised to report illegal content to the platform where they saw it. Under the law, online platforms must provide a user-friendly reporting mechanism for people to directly notify them about illegal content they come across. If the content is illegal, the online platform must act quickly to disable it or remove it. The online platform must let the user know of its decision in relation to the reported content within a reasonable time and provide information on options for appealing the decision.

The right to complain

If a user is not satisfied with the online platform’s decision about a report of illegal content, the online platform must provide a user-friendly complaints mechanism, free of charge. A user has 6 months from the date of the decision to lodge a complaint with the online platform. The online platform must notify the user of its decision in relation to the complaint and its reasons for it without undue delay. They must also advise of the options for redress available in the event that the user is not satisfied with the decision. If a user believes an online platform has not met its obligations under the Digital Services Act, they can make a complaint to Coimisiún na Meán. Information on what people can complain about and the complaints process can be found here: and the Contact Centre is available on: + 353 1 963 7755 | (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm).

It is not part of Coimisiún na Meán’s remit to carry out a content moderation role, to act as an appeal body from decisions of providers of online services in relation to illegal content, or to act as a judge in disputes between different parties or different users about illegal content.