Communications Committee chair condemns Garda intimidation on social media

-   Hildegarde Naughton TD

Fine Gael TD and Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Hildegarde Naughton, has condemned the intimidation of a Garda on social media.

Deputy Naughton said the Committee is committed to eradicating such toxic behaviour online and will meet with the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society next month.

Deputy Naughton said: “I completely condemn such intimidation of an individual Garda on social media.

“It is very concerning that such threats were allowed to remain unmoderated on the particular platform.

“Many Gardaí today, during the course of their work, will face very dangerous situations in order to uphold law and order in this State.

“Intimidation and threats of violence against any member of the force must be viewed particularly seriously.

“Social media has a myriad of advantages but it also affords a minority the opportunity to threaten and abuse without fear of platforms intervening. This must end.

“My committee has previously indicated that it would move towards the regulation of social media by progressing work on the Digital Safety Commissioner Bill. This will commence later this month.

“I have also received confirmation that my committee will meet Mariya Ivanova Gabriel, the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, next month to discuss the moderation of violent and harmful content on social media platforms, at a European level.”

Deputy Naughton continued: “After my committee’s engagement with Facebook in August of this year to discuss the moderation of harmful content, I said that the days of social media regulating themselves are over.

“The intimidation of this particular Garda and the threats made against him on social media only reinforce my view.

“I can assure every member of the Gardaí, every parent with a bullied child, and anyone what has ever been threatened online, that my Committee are 100% committed to eradicating this toxic behaviour while ensuring that all the many advantages of social media are maintained.”

ENDS

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