Death threats against guard on social media condemned by Hildegarde Naughton

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Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton has condemned the intimidation of a Garda on social media who was, she says, the victim of threats on one social media platform.

She said that she found it very concerning that such threats were allowed to remain unmoderated on the particular platform.

The threats were made after a masked member of An Garda Síochana was apparently identified online.

Hildegarde Naughton said that 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,” she said.

“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.”

Actor John Connors labelled the gardaí as ‘scum’ on the Late Late Show on Friday and accused the guards of helping ‘ex-loyalist paramilitaries’ to carry out the eviction on North Frederick Street.