Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Jack Chambers, Oireachtas, Social Media

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Jack Chambers

Twitter to be challenged by TDs over racist comments which forced Ryan family to leave Ireland

Meath couple Fiona Ryan and Jonathan Mathis spoke of death threats they received on the Late Late show on Friday.

09/10/2019 08:30:00

TDs have said they will question Twitter representatives about the abusive comments directed at the Ryans during an Oireachtas committee meeting today.

Meath couple Fiona Ryan and Jonathan Mathis spoke of death threats they received on the Late Late show on Friday.

Meath-native Fiona Ryan (33), her fiance Jonathan Mathis (32) and their 22-month-old son Jonah said they were forced to leave Ireland after appearing in an advertising campaign for supermarket chain Lidl.They were subject to a number of abusive posts which contained racist comments about them on social media. It escalated to the level of death threats, Fiona said, speaking on the Late Late Show on Friday night.

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Today, members of the joint-Oireachtas committee are meeting with representatives from Twitter, Facebook and Google to discuss online harassment, and to look at the steps these companies are taking to address hateful content on their platforms.TDs have said they will question Twitter representatives about the abusive comments directed at the Ryans and how they were allowed to be posted on its site in the first place.

“I will absolutely be asking, and I’ll be challenging them on the slow pace at which they remove very alarming content – the fact that family was considering leaving their home in this country because of hatred that came from a social media platform can’t continue,” said committee member and Fianna Fáil TD Jack Chambers.

“That cannot continue, and I think anyone that witnessed their experience will want to see these companies move to change, or be forced to change.”He added: “The reason we’re looking at this is because it is a new legislative and policy space because of the growth of these tech companies.

“We’re meeting with them to go beyond their current approach which is that they simply facilitate what they perceive to be a community model rather than being more responsive to the content that they host.”During the Late Late Show on Friday, presenter Ryan Tubridy read out a tweet from the account of former Irish Independent journalist and unsuccessful presidential candidate, Gemma O’Doherty. It said, “German dump @lidl_ireland gaslighting the Irish people with their multicultural version of ‘The Ryans’. Kidding no-one! Resist the Great Replacement wherever you can by giving this kip a wide berth. #ShopIrish #BuyIrish.

Many Twitter users replied to that post, directing racist and insulting comments towards the young family. Fiona Ryan said she “felt like we needed to leave” after some of these comments escalated to death threats.Chair of the Oireachtas committee, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin described the comments as “disturbing” and said social media companies must “demonstrate a willingness to now work with legislators to ensure that we have appropriate protections in place”.

Related Read 05.10.19 'I am not going to stay in country where this is allowed': Couple from supermarket ad leave Ireland after online abuse“I hope that out of the Ryan’s very courageous exposure of this on the Late Late last Friday night. there will indeed be measures undertaken, and that the Government and social media companies will recognise a need for working together to address this fault line in the social media sites.

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“Protections apply to the broadcast media and different aspects of communications here in this country.“Yet in this instance there seems to only be a reliance on their willingness to self-regulate and at the end of the day, they have demonstrated time and time again that their efforts are simply not fit for purpose.”


Sticks and stones? Have they nothing better to discuss? Or is it *Today, during an Oireachtas committee meeting, TDs will question Twitter representatives about the abusive comments directed at the Ryans* syntax abusive comments directed at the Ryans during an Oireachtas committee meeting today ? Whoever is guilty of that ridiculous, offensive, uneducated, just-plain-stupid behaviour needs to face real consequences. Ireland does not need that type of stupidity!!

Abusive comments directed at the Ryans during an Oireachtas committee meeting? Surely not? Or is the sentence just poorly constructed? They could start by getting everyone on twitter verified and using their real name. Why aren't the Guards doing that And hopfully they will also investigate the fact they are paid actors and not a couple and also fiona Ryan lives in England who pretends she will leave Ireland due to comments made to her! Do your research people, its very clear there paid actors to push this fake hate speech law

Their address was UK before this They could also ave the Ryan's in and ask, Were they paid to be on LLS. Were their flights/sailing booked to return to UK prior to G O'D tweet Who decided which tweet to read out. & why not read out the death threat as it had more shock value Get ready for being arrested for 'mean tweets'

Study that heading. Why is an Oireachtas Committee directing abusive comments at the Ryan’s? Is she returning to her home in England ? Remember if you dare question the story your a member of the ku klux klan. This is a big PR stunt, they don’t even live in Ireland. 🇮🇪 Also: the ‘threats’ were never made public or proven to be real. Are they even married, as was initially reported?

Would be better to go to local Gardai and make complaint under incitement to hatered legislation, than doing political grandstanding, shinners and others have short memory from using dail as a safe haven to make personal attacks worse than social media This is hilarious. Don’t get how they couldn’t track the death threats through an ip address. Calling it a civil matter is bizarre

And keyboard cowards comment in 3,2,1...National something something, Ireland for Irish something something, took our jobs something something..... No doubt they're shaking in their boots. Fake News

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