Senators Demand Online Censorship After Public Backlash Against Mass Migration Explodes in Ireland

Senator Eileen Flynn addresses members of the Traveller community holding a protest outsid
Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images

A number of Irish senators have called for stricter censorship to be implemented online after a sudden surge in public backlash against the ongoing migrant crisis plaguing the country.

Multiple senators in Ireland have made public calls for online censorship in Ireland to be tightened in the wake of growing disquiet over the country’s pro-open borders approach to its ongoing migrant crisis, which has seen tens of thousands of people arrive in a country of just five million over the last twelve months.

With the country having a population much smaller than that of many individual U.S. states, the impact of the thousands of arrivals has been devastating for many local communities, with many ordinary Irish people now struggling to find affordable accommodation in the country as the government focuses on housing both Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian migrants from abroad.

Such a political decision, which has also largely been backed by the country’s main opposition party, Sinn Féin, has sparked significant disquiet amongst the general public with a growing number of protests taking place across the country against the policy of moving hundreds of asylum seekers into local areas that are already struggling with housing supply issues.

In response to this growing resistance, senators from a variety of parties and none across the nation’s parliament have called for censorship to be stepped up online in the hopes that it will curb growing resistance to mass migration.

Speaking in the country’s Seanad Éireann on Tuesday, leftist Senator Marie Sherlock attempted to link general “anti-refugee sentiment” to an alleged violent incident that is said to have occurred at a migrant camp located in the country’s capital of Dublin.

Described as involving men with dogs and a baseball bat attacking a migrant camp in the capital, significant questions have been raised regarding the accuracy of legacy media reporting of the attack, with multiple major outlets in the country having since amended reports on the incident after discrepancies were highlighted by reports published in online news publication Gript Media.

“We have all seen the anti-refugee sentiment present now in many of our communities,” Senator Sherlock claimed in reference to the alleged incident that is now being investigated by police.

“There are, of course, many things the Government and the State can do to try to head off the rise in this very ugly sentiment,” she continued. “Some of the largest social media platform companies have their Europe, Middle East and Asia, EMEA, headquarters here in Dublin.”

“These social media platforms can do many things in respect of security checks, anonymous accounts, as we all know, and content moderation,” she went on to say.

Such a call was backed by independent Senator Eileen Flynn, who claimed that, while new legislation did not need to be put in place, social media companies needed to increase censorship in Ireland.

“We all have freedom of speech and should have freedom of speech but when your speech becomes a threat and becomes hate towards a community or individual, it is no longer freedom of speech. What you are doing is hate speech,” she told the Irish senate.

“Nobody is really safe around social media. We need to look at how we can keep people safe,” she added. The senator continued: “what we need is for Facebook, Twitter and all those apps and social media platforms to be able to act to protect ordinary citizens.”

Another politician, Senator Mark Daly from the government Fianna Fáil party, also decried social media, describing it as being a “wild west” with “people hiding behind it being able to say things that they would not be able to get away with in other media.”

The debate was then eventually finalised by Ireland’s senate leader and Daly’s fellow Fianna Fáil party member, Lisa Chambers, who agreed that the government must ” try to tackle” the growing anti-mass migration sentiment on social media, adding that she will request that the government further look into the issue.

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