Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte TD has reiterated calls for a Digital Safety Commissioner as Gardaí have warned against ‘The Mo-Mo Challenge’, a new challenge on social media sites which promotes self-harm.

Deputy Rabbitte commented:

It is frightening and concerning that young children are being subjected to this social media ‘challenge’. I am urging parents to be vigilant to their son or daughter’s online activity at this time.

She went on to say:

It is now 14 months since I called for the establishment of a Digital Safety Commissioner and it appears we are no closer to this role being put in place. We have seen worrying trends in social media, such as the current ‘game’. What will it be next and how long do we have to wait for the government to act?

As a member of the Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs it is paramount we make the online space a safer environment for children. The digital age of consent, at 16, must be steadfast as is the necessity of a commissioner with responsibility for the area.

Deputy Rabbitte concluded:

We now know we cannot rely on social media sites to regulate themselves. We need to prioritise children’s and public safety, and the first step towards creating a safe online society is to establish a Digital Safety Commissioner, without delay.

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