I have prattled on here many times about the cesspit that Twitter can be. Well, here I go again. In a republic, the ballot box rather than the disproportionate trends on Twitter is what should guide political decision making.
It would be foolish to think that politicians, businesses, journalists, medics or academics don’t look over their shoulder in fear of social media platforms which have been hijacked and turned into a platform for abuse, misinformation and bullying.
I would be worried that we are in danger of being governed based somewhat on how the implications of decision making is going to play out on social media.
An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar is one such target. He now requires round-the-clock armed protection
If we focus specifically on Irish politics most notably since the beginning of the pandemic, the well-orchestrated targeting of Government politicians with vile hatred has gone up several notches. An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar is one such target. He now requires round-the-clock armed protection and it’s difficult not to believe that this is as a result of the tactical abuse stirred up online more than anything he has done or not done. Ditto for health minister Stephen Donnelly.
The left were apoplectic and demanded he withdrew his remarks
Recently Garda Commissioner Drew Harris had to clarify remarks he made about those behind the Grafton Street anti-lockdown riot. He accused “left wing” and “far right” factions of being behind it.
The left were apoplectic and demanded he withdrew his remarks. He did because indeed there was no evidence the “left” was involved.
But it appears to me that what unites the “left” and “far right” is their mutual dislike for the same people. This results in Donnelly and Varadkar receiving abuse from tweeters looking for a harder lockdown along with those looking to open everything up.
There are some individual tweeters I have come across who literally seem to have nothing to do all day but seek out Government politicians to abuse and threaten
Ah, you might say, it’s harmless banter, but there is nothing harmless if a situation developed where politicians are scared to make unpopular decisions for fear of the virtual abuse foisted upon them.
There are some individual tweeters I have come across who literally seem to have nothing to do all day but seek out Government politicians to abuse and threaten. I ask myself: “Are they paid to do this or is it some form of addiction?” They are Irish and they don’t tweet about any other subject except to stalk and slam the Government and sometimes journalists.
“Gaslighting” and “confirmation bias” is also very much at play when it comes to the important discussion about the future direction of farming and the environment. In the more extreme minds, there’s simply no room for compromise in the relentless campaign to run Irish dairy and beef farmers out of business.
That folks is the glorious free to air world of the uninformed, campaigning twitter brigade for you
Here’s one beauty from the weekend: “Pasture-based?? Ireland’s cows spend most of their year in ‘confinement dairies’ – sheds, where they’re crowded knee-deep in their own manure. Do the planet a favour – switch to growing oats & barley for Ireland to make its own brand of oat milk. Far more return & less cruelty.”
That folks is the glorious free to air world of the uninformed, campaigning twitter brigade for you. Indeed, how do hardworking farmers and constructive environmentalists themselves put up with such wild and provocative knee deep Twitter manure?
Since I first attended a Republic of Ireland soccer match back in 1985, I cannot remember the Irish team at such a low. It is difficult to see a change in fortune any time soon but not all the blame can be attributed to the manager Stephen Kenny.