X disputes McEntee’s claim that social media platform did not engage with authorities over Dublin riots

Social media giant calls on Minister to clarify comments she made in the Dáil about response to Dublin riots online material

Social media giant X, formerly known as Twitter, has disputed claims by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee that it did not engage with the Government in relation to the Dublin riots.

In the Dáil last week, Ms McEntee claimed all the social media companies except X had actively engaged with An Garda Síochána to take down provocative material relating to the riots.

“I think the company has a responsibility to be responsible, and where they did not take down content on Thursday it added to, and I think fuelled, some of what happened. So I would like to engage with them on what they plan to do moving forward,” she said.

X’s global government affairs account stated, on the platform on Monday night, it had taken action on more than 1,230 pieces of content under its rules relating to the riots that occurred on November 23rd.


X officials met the social media regulator, Coimisiún na Meán, a day after the riot, on November 24th, to discuss its response, it said.

“The gardaí did not make any formal requests to us until late Monday, 27th November. We responded promptly. The only appeal we have received from the gardaí relating to the enforcement of our rules is for a single post. We hope the Minister will clarify her remarks.”

X has a testy relationship with the Government. Its billionaire owner Elon Musk is opposed to the proposed hate speech legislation and last week claimed in a post that the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, “hates the Irish people”.

A spokesperson for Ms McEntee said: “Minister McEntee was relaying concerns directly raised with her by frontline gardaí who were working on the day of the riots.

“The Minister will continue to engage with An Garda Síochána on these matters, and looks forward to directly engaging with X.”

Meanwhile, Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment Simon Coveney has said that Ms McEntee does not need to correct the Dail record with regard to her comments about social media companies and their role in the recent riots in Dublin.

Speaking on RTE radio’s News at One Mr Coveney said there had been a lot of concern, “rightly so”, that social media platforms were being used as a vehicle for far right activists to “whip up division anger and ultimately encouraging people to come in and cause carnage in the centre of Dublin City, which is what subsequently happened”.

Mr Coveney said the issue was how the different platforms engaged and the extent to which they engaged to take down dangerous material and whether or not they responded as quickly as they should have.

As Enterprise Minister he was happy to engage with X and other platforms, he added. New regulations on social media platforms would have “an awful lot more teeth” and would have “significant legal powers” to fine companies heavily if they do not take down dangerous or inaccurate material.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times