X owner Elon Musk could face ‘criminal sanctions’ if he doesn’t comply with a new Online Safety Code being prepared in Ireland.
The code, which opened for public consultation today, aims to crack down on the publishing of illegal content online.
Musk has previously been criticised for his online commentary on last month's riots in Dublin.
Ms Hodnett outlined some of the potential punishments a social media company or its director could face if they decide not to comply.
“The [Online Safety] Code is binding when it’s adopted and noncompliance attaches civil administrivia fines or sanctions of up to 10% of relevant turnover, or 20m, whichever is greater,” she said.
“There can be also criminal sanctions for senior directors of a company for certain contraventions of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Act.”
Ms Hodnett said the commission would also be able to act if events similar to last month's riots in Dublin were to be amplified online again.
“We are consulting on additional measures to address the amplification of harmful content online by recommending systems or algorithms,” she said.
“[We’re doing this] so that these feeds don’t amplify illegal or harmful content and become a harmful feed. We will be monitoring for non-compliance with the code.”
Newstalk’s Technology correspondent Jess Kelly outlined some of the materials the commission will be looking to tackle online.
“It’s child sex abuse material, it’s xenophobic racist material, all of which is absolutely prominent online," she said.
“What’s not there is the day-to-day stuff that you or I might roll our eyes, tut, or be in bad form about after looking at our mentions on platforms.”
Ms Kelly explained how enforcement will work.
“In the wake of the riots in Dublin, there was a lot of talk about communications that happened on social media, but also messaging apps,” she said.
“There were reports that Gardaí would be able to look at your messages but that’s not the case, things like WhatsApp, Telegram, and other apps are end-to-end encrypted.
“What will happen though is that there will be greater action taken in relation to incitement to violence or hatred on the open social media platforms."
Ms Kelly added that Ireland will be at the forefront of social media content regulation in the years to come as many of these companies are located here.
Main Image: Elon Musk is seen during a panel discussion in Berlin, Germany in September 2015. Picture by: Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo / Alamy Stock Photo