Twitter must publish data on bots, fake accounts and harmful content - Malcolm Byrne

Published on: 09 June 2022


Senator Malcolm Byrne has called on Twitter and other social media companies to publish details on the number of bots and fake accounts on their platforms as well as the volume of harmful content removed. He was responding to news that Twitter is about to make that information available to Elon Musk. 
 
Senator Byrne commented, “When Twitter came before the Oireachtas Media Committee last year and were asked for data on bots, fake accounts and the volume of content removed, they couldn’t supply it. They are always reticent to do it.
 
“We are currently considering the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill which will regulate the social media companies for the first time. If Twitter can supply detailed data for commercial reasons, they should publish it or at least provide for legislators where we are trying to address online safety.”
 
Senator Byrne said that he believes that at least one in ten accounts on Twitter is a bot or a fake and has reiterated his view that the social media platform does not take online safety sufficiently seriously.
 
“Online harm has serious consequences. If Twitter and others are serious about addressing it, then publish the data. Surely if it is good enough for Elon Musk, legislators and society generally are entitled to know.”
 

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