Ireland has given its backing to new European Union online safety rules at a meeting of EU Ambassadors.

It paves the way for the Digital Services Act (DSA) to become EU law in the coming months.

In April, EU member states, the European Commission and the European Parliament reached agreement on the act which requires big tech companies to do more to police illegal content on their platforms and to pay a fee to regulators monitoring their compliance.

Under the DSA, companies face fines of up to 6% of their global turnover for violating the rules while repeated breaches could see them banned from doing business in the EU.

The new rules prohibit targeted advertising aimed at children or based on sensitive data such as religion, gender, race and political opinions.

Dark patterns, which are tactics that mislead people into giving personal data to companies online, will also be banned.

The new law could have big implications for tech giants such as Facebook parent Meta, Google and Twitter - companies that have their European Headquarters in Ireland.

The Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Robert Troy welcomed today's support of the DSA, describing it as another milestone on the path to adopting the new online safety rules.

"I expect that the DSA's provisions will begin to apply to internet service providers operating in Ireland and across the EU from the middle of next year," Mr Troy said.

"The Government will use the time between now and then to equip our implementation and enforcement authorities so that they are ready to play their part as soon as they are called upon."