Cross-Party Oireachtas Member demand increased transparency from Facebook

Cross-Party Letter To Facebook
Cross-Party Letter To Facebook

A Cross-party group of Senators and TDs wrote to Facebook Ireland to request that the social media platform roll-out their new transparency features in Ireland in advance of the referendum on the 8th amendment on May 25th.

Dear Mr. Lambe,

In light of the upcoming referendum on the 8th amendment to the Irish constitution, we are writing to request that Facebook immediately roll out its recently developed transparency features on political advertising.

Recent months have seen escalating revelations on the extent to which social media platforms such as Facebook have served to facilitate inappropriate intervention in the democratic process. It is clear that greatly strengthened legislative and regulatory oversight is needed and that is something we as legislators are committed to delivering. However, we note that Facebook has also committed to urgently revise and improve its own processes. At the US Senate hearing earlier this week Mr Zuckerberg stated that his priority for 2018 is to prevent interference in five national elections taking place this year. The forthcoming referendum in Ireland must be afforded equal priority. 

This referendum should not become another bad example of inappropriate intervention in the political process but should instead serve as an opportunity to pilot new and better standards.  It is imperative that Facebook guarantee transparency around any political advertisements targeted at Irish voters between now and May 25th, including transparency around the persons or organisations paying for the promotion of such content.

We look forward to your response and hope you will be able to deliver the assurances and accelerated action that we seek.

Yours Sincerely,

Senator Alice-Mary Higgins, Senator Colette Kelleher, Senator Lynn Ruane - Civil Engagement Group
Senator Grace O'Sullivan, Deputy Eamon Ryan - The Green Party
Deputy Catherine Murphy - Social Democrats

More Stories

Launch of the new TASC and Carnegie UK Trust essay collection: "Ensuring Good Future Jobs"

Speaking at the launch of the "Ensuring Good Future Jobs" essay collecting at the National University of Ireland office, Senator Alice-Mary Higgins said "The essays in this collection from TASC and the Carnegie UK Trust are the kind of joined up thinking we urgently need around the future of work. They offer a detailed examination of work and employment policy that recognises and considers the reality of people's lived experience while also looking at the wider context of society with huge care needs, a new digital landscape, a changing climate and important choices to make."

​ Civil Engagement Group call for equality, transparency and sustainability in Budget 2018.

The Civil Engagement Group in the Seanad is calling on the Government to deliver equality, transparency and sustainable development in Budget 2018. The group have highlighted five principles which they say should underpin the budgetary decision-making. 

1. Budget 2018 must deliver joined-up thinking for sustainable development. 

2. Budget 2018 must prioritise investment in public services and social infrastructure 

3. Budget 2018 must address social, economic and gender inequality 

4. Budget 2018 must be clear and transparent around taxation 

5. Budget 2018 must meet international standards and commitments.