Twitter, Lidl Division, Fiona Ryan, Jonathan Mathis, Jack Chambers, Karen White

Twitter, Lidl Division

Twitter dismisses claims over couple abused online

Twitter has dismissed claims that it did not do enough to respond to racist and abusive content on its site which a mixed race couple in Co Meath said forced them to leave the country.

09/10/2019 14:52:00

Fianna Fáil's Jack Chambers said Twitter 's decision to simply remove tweets aimed at Fiona Ryan and her fiancée Jonathan Mathis was 'weak' and that the service provided hateful content to a huge audience

Twitter has dismissed claims that it did not do enough to respond to racist and abusive content on its site which a mixed race couple in Co Meath said forced them to leave the country.

The couple received death threats after appearing in a Lidl ad campaign and announced last week that they had left the country with their 22-month-old son.Mr Chambers questioned Twitter executives at a meeting of the Oireachtas Justice Committee: " If someone with a huge amount of followers brings hatred to a big audience that promotes a racist message to a huge audience, does a simple deletion of that rectify and remedy the consequences for a person who feels they have to leave the country?," he asked.

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Twitter Policy Director, Karen White said: "I would sympathise with anyone who has been subjected to targeted abuse or harassment of violent threats whether it's online or offline. It's abhorrent and unacceptable."She added: "I cannot speak to the individual circumstances, but I want to reassure the committee that we have very robust policies in place in Twitter around hateful behaviour and hateful conduct and violent threats when we are made aware there is a range of enforcement actions we can take."

These enforcement actions include asking a user to delete offensive content, locking their accounts or suspending it if they persistently violate Twitter's own rules. These measures are having a "real world impact," Ms White said.She told the committee there is a "wider societal issue that needs to be addressed here" and that "simply removing content from a service is not in all instances going to change the intolerance".

Read moreOnline abuse leaves mother fearing for son's safety However, Mr Chambers said: "Your net response is to broaden the fudge, that seems to be your public policy response to a lot of f issues: It is complicated, it is multinational, we are platforms not publishers.

"I think when you bring it down to the family that was affected on your platform, the response from Twitter was to delete the tweet and that was it. Surely your enforcement mechanisms can be improved."Earlier the Fine Gael TD, Colm Brophy, said he could not understand how the representatives of tech companies "morally comfortable" with claiming they do not have liability for content that they publish.

He referenced one incident where images of a "horrific incident" were shared multiple times on Facebook which inflicted "absolute horror" on a family for which there was no comeback. He also described an incident where a murder was live streamed on Facebook "using a streaming facility put in for profit."

He said: "I cannot understand morally how people are comfortable defending not having a liability for that." He said these companies should be subject to the same laws and regulations as newspapers or broadcasters or other publishers: "I think the principle under which you operate is wrong," he said. "I don't accept this made up term of 'intermediary'. To me you are publishers and you should have the liabilities of publishers."

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"As an industry you have pulled off an amazing trick over many decades which has enriched you and your shareholders to a vast level, and the cost is too great," he said.Director of Public Policy with Facebook, Dualta O'Broin, said: "What you are getting close to is a monitoring obligation on all content and that would fundamentally change the basis on which our companies operate."

Claire Rush of Facebook said: "If we had that additional layer or that heightened level of publisher-type responsibility you would have people queuing at the door to take claims and all sorts."If anything I would actually say that if there was this obligation to pre-review or pre screen or pre moderate every single piece of content against all the laws all over the world wherever that content might be shared, regardless of the operational burden and cost it would actually have a huge chilling effect."

Read more: RTÉ News »

Fake or not the hate directed at the couple exposes a shameful side to society stop making excuses and deal with the problem, abuse and hate is on the rise- social media allows this without anyone having to have the guts to spout their bile face to face with their target Well said 👍🏽 jackfchambers Before you censor FreeSpeech Jack lets remind your DublinWest constituents how FF & its sister party FG sold us out to international bankers and also destroyed the honest risk manager who exposed this treason. WhistleIRL

jackfchambers Any chance of a reply Jack to the question I asked you 3 days ago concerning the movie Unplanned Do you think it should be shown in cinemas, Yes or No? Your DublinWest constituents are entitled to know your viewpoint. Twitters rules only suit themsrlves,having been threatened and abused here personally i had to appeal tgeir decision,before they blocked the person,and yet told me they could easily get back on,so their safety net is very poor😩

4WeHaveItAll45 She has applied to work in America too, she doesnt wanna be here, no acting jobs Were they paid in any way to go on LLS. Who choose the tweet to read out? Why not read out the alleged death threat? Are they aware that mean, unsavoury comment is freedom of expression, not hate speech? Were their flights/sailing to uk ? booked b4 the O'Doherty tweet?

I have more mixed race in my big toe Sure didn't she land a nice acting roll over In the UK? Wouldn't that have something to do with them relocating? Resist the Irish immigration industry and its propaganda! Send the Proof....... more like hired Soros Trolls orchestrating events for hate speech legislation.

Thought she was an actress and the were setup in Germany before the advert was even aired In all seriousness. If Twitter were to start policing 'hateful content'. Which as far as I can tell is virtually impossible. They would either have to remove nearly every interesting comment on Twitter or completely shut down any meaningful debate. How do you even define hateful?

Yeah, leave the country and go to somewhere less racist than Ireland. I dare you to find a country like that. i don't get why they're leaving the country though to go to germany how is germany any better than ireland in the last two years in germany there's been many terror and attempted terror attacks how is germany safer than ireland

They need to delete Gemma o Doherty, Ireland biggest racist. Give it a rest RTE!!

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Couple forced to leave Ireland after receiving death threat and online abuse'They're talking about harming and death to my partner and my child. So I'm not going to stay in a country that this is allowed' Her profile says she was a resident of England when she made the Ad. How come they were in the Late Late Show studio in Dublin 4 if they have left the country

Gardaí in process of identifying individuals who 'posted racist abuse online' forcing young family to leave Ireland - Independent.ieGarda Commissioner Drew Harris has said gardai are in the process of identifying individuals who allegedly posted racist abuse online forcing a young family to leave Ireland. Grand, as long as they are prosecuted, and all their social media access barred for the rest of their naturual lives. Disgusting behaviour esp when the Irish sought and got sanctuary in so many countries over generations. How long does the 'in process' take? Great!

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