Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has said Ireland's plans for an online safety commissioner must allow for complaints to be made by the public about online content.

She said it would be "a real deficit in the law" if individuals could not come together to form a class to make a complaint about social media companies.

The Government has established an expert group to examine the possibility of providing for complaints from individual members of the public, in the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill.

Speaking to RTÉ's This Week programme ahead of an appearance before an Oireachtas committee later this week, Frances Haugen said: "You need to be able to have some mechanism where, say, the parents of children who have who have harmed themselves can come together and get some kind of relief.

"If there's not a mechanism for that, I think that's going to be a real miss."

Ms Haugen also said the proposed new online safety commissioner must hire people with in-depth knowledge of how social media companies work, if it is going to be effective.

"An effective regulator is going to unquestionably need algorithmic experts who have worked on systems like Facebook or TikTok, you're going to need to have people who have deep product expertise, who understand how the small choices made on these systems interact with each other.

"If you don't have people who understand how product choices interact, you're not going to be able to understand the dynamics that are happening there, or hold these systems accountable."

She also stood over comments she made at the European Parliament in November in which she said Ireland had a conflict of interest when it comes to regulating big tech companies.

"These tech companies intimately impact people's lives all around the world. The world is depending on Ireland to step up, and be able to enforce things like GDPR and hopefully soon the DSA (Digital Services Act), and add a level of robustness that actually keeps people safe, and Ireland so far has not demonstrated that they are willing to live up to the letter of these laws," she said.

When it was pointed out that Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner recently proposed fines of €36 million on Facebook and €225 million on Whatsapp for privacy breaches, Ms Haugen said those fines may "sound large" but are only a tiny fraction of the profits made by those companies.