Second Year UCC Law Student Whose Online Identity Was Stolen Hopes Proposed Bill Enacted Before Lives Are Lost

Skibbereen woman, Alicia Joy-O’Sullivan appeared before a Joint Committee this week to discuss the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas.

A fake Instagram account was set up under her name, used real photos from her actual account; but then also included photos and videos of a naked girl without showing her face, to give the illusion that these were her own images.

The fake Instagram also tried to sell pornographic content by linking to another website.

The proposed bill aims to establish strong regulations to deal with the spread of harmful online content including on social media platforms.

It would offer additional safeguards not already in existing legislation.

Speaking to RedFM News, Alicia Joy-O’Sullivan said that women had to die before Coco’s Law was introduced earlier this year, but that she hopes the newly proposed Online Safety Bill can come into being before more victims are harmed:

“Coco’s Law is very new. And when you look back at that and how that came into law, a couple of young women, and Nicole Fox had to actually die for the law to be brought in. So thankfully this new Online Safety & Media Regulation Bill is coming in, hopefully, before more damage is done. Times are changing. We can look at these issues and realise that what happened to me was not at all my fault, I had no control over what was happening, I wasn’t able to do anything about it, and there was no remedy for my situation. So hopefully this bill will be able to solve all of those.”


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