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Move to shut down promotion of reckless ‘Paddy’s Day Lockdown Rave’ is welcome but social media companies must remain vigilant – Higgins

21st February 2021 - Emer Higgins, TD

Fine Gael’s Social Media Spokesperson has said a move by Facebook to pull promotion of a planned event entitled ‘Paddy’s Day Lockdown Rave’ is welcome, but social media companies must remain vigilant for similar content.

Dublin Mid West TD Emer Higgins said: “This week I called for social media companies to move quickly to remove content from their platforms about a planned event billed as a ‘Paddy’s Day Lockdown Rave’ and I contacted Facebook directly about it.

“Facebook has now confirmed it has restricted access to the account in question as the proposed event violates government Covid-19 health guidelines

“The move to shut down promotion of this event is very welcome. I do however urge all social media companies to remain vigilant for other accounts that may open up to try promote this event under a different name, or indeed other similar events that could put public health at risk.

“Social media companies must move faster and be more proactive about removing such content. For example, promotion for this particular event had already migrated from Instagram to Snapchat by the time it came to wider public attention.

“There was never any suggestion from Government that restrictions would be relaxed in March to allow for such a large-scale event. This, or any other planned large events would be a flagrant dismissal of the current legislations and a mockery to all the efforts everyone has made in the battle against Covid-19.

“The current restrictions have been tough on everyone and of course people are missing friends and want to socialise. But now is not the time for large scale events and I implore anyone thinking of organising one to think again and show solidarity with everyone in the community who is enduring this pandemic and trying to keep vulnerable people safe and well.”

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