To: Helen McEntee, Minister for Justice

Call for stricter rules on harmful acts and misinformation on social media sites

Call for stricter rules on harmful acts and misinformation on social media sites

I want the government to put more and more pressure on big tech companies to introduce stricter rules on misinformation and dangerous acts.

Why is this important?

Misinformation is a deadly pandemic on social media sites. One particular concern of mine is the spread of fake ‘life hacks’ videos. This might seem harmless until you look at the types of videos being posted up. One video I saw that was actually on YouTube’s Facebook page was telling people how to make sausages in the toaster using tinfoil. Putting tinfoil into toasters is strongly discouraged from most toaster manufacturers because it could cause electrocution and even fire. Another video I saw on Instagram encouraged people to use a transformer from a microwave to burn a design into wood. This is remarkably dangerous because one single mistake could cause an electrical current of 2,000 volts to enter your body, which is 10 times the amount of power needed to stop your heartbeat. There have been at least 34 reported deaths from this ‘life hack’. Four of them were qualified electricians and the majority of them were wearing proper gloves and P.P.E. However, despite this, these videos rarely suffer any sort of sanctions from the website. One site that promotes these kinds of life hacks is ‘5 Minute Crafts’. This channel is currently the 11th most subscribed YouTube channel with over 70 million subscribers. They often put up fake and sometimes ‘life hack’ videos and they often get millions of views. I think this is unacceptable and we as a country have the power to put immense pressure on these companies because there are multiple users and both Meta and Google have offices in Dublin.