The Lord Mayor of Dublin has expressed concern about edited footage shared on social media of a violent protest in the city this weekend, which she said had been manipulated to “sow discord”.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne, Hazel Chu said it was alarming the level of misinformation, disinformation and “downright lies” shared on social media platforms.
There was a lot of discord and chaos, she added.
The mayor said she had spoken with the senior policy team at Twitter recently following her own abuse on the platform and had been told of a stream of measures that are going to be rolled out.
She called for a system to be introduced in Ireland similar to that operated by Twitter during the US presidential elections when tweets were labelled as “may not be true”.
The accounts of certain cohorts should also be more closely examined and reported, she said.
Ms Chu had tried to get a meeting with Facebook and she was hoping that the events of last weekend would ensure that a meeting would now go ahead particularly because of the disinformation that was spread prior to the protest. The degree to which lies were being spread would have to be examined, she said.
'Stir up' trouble
Later on the same programme Sinn Féin’s finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said the organisers of such protests needed to “see sense” and call off any future events. There were elements that were trying to “stir up” trouble. Everybody needed to do their job and the Government needed to get its act together and send a clear message, he said.
Independent Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae said that any action or inaction by the Government did not provide an excuse for people to behave like they had done last weekend.
It was an affront to democracy. If people had a problem with politicians and their decisions then they should make their concerns known. What had been done to the gardaí on duty last weekend had been wrong. They had been trying to keep law and order on the street.
“For anyone to say that the Government is at fault – that’s wrong and should be condemned at every level of society.”