The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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'Social media and democracy: how do we balance rights and responsibilities?'

08 May 2019

If you missed our panel discussion exploring the challenges and opportunities that social media opens in our society you can listen to it now.

This panel discussion took place on 1 May 2019 at the Royal Irish Academy where the panellists explored the challenges and opportunities that digital and social media opens in our society and the growing case, across Europe, for online content regulation and controls.

The group of panellists brought together academics and practitioners who contributed their expertise, insight and academic research to the discussion which questions such as:

  • How do we balance the civil freedom of expression that online provides while protecting the common good?
  • What is the balance of responsibilities of the Internet global companies behind social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook and how well is Ireland facing up to these challenges?


  • Dr Maria Helen Murphy, Lecturer in Law at Maynooth University.
  • Professor Brian O'Neill, Director of Research and Dean of the Graduate Research School at TU Dublin, City Campus.
  • Gavin Sheridan is CEO and co-founder of Vizlegal—a global API and intelligence tool for law. He is the former Director of Innovation at Storyful.
  • Professor Eugenia Siapera is Professor of Information and Communication Studies and Head of the School of Information and Communication Studies, UCD.

The panel discussion was facilitated by Helen Shaw, CEO Athena Media and member of the RIA's Social Sciences Committee

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