Claims Facebook avoiding referendum 'fake news' issue
Politicians have accused Facebook of failing to live up to promises it gave to an Oireachtas Committee that it would deal effectively with the issue of "fake news" during the referendum campaign.
Fianna Fáil's Timmy Dooley said he was disappointed that the social media company had not lived up to the expectations set out at the Communications Committee recently.
The Clare TD was speaking after RTÉ yesterday became aware of a "fake news video" being distributed in social media on the issue of abortion.
It gave the appearance of being a genuine RTÉ News report. Following representations by RTÉ, the video and video channel on YouTube were taken down without delay.
In a statement, RTÉ said it takes misrepresentation extremely seriously and regularly works with third party platforms to remove materials that misrepresent RTÉ.
However, the video also featured in a paid-for post on Facebook.
Following representations by RTÉ, this advertisement was suspended yesterday, however the user's Facebook account remains active.
RTÉ News said it was extremely disappointed that substantive action has not been taken by Facebook against this account given the serious nature of the issue raised.
Facebook has defended its actions saying it quickly reviewed the page, which it says was run by a legitimate Facebook profile with no previous policy violations.
It added that it shut down the advertising account on the page and the owner of this account can no longer run advertisements on Facebook.
However, Solidarity-PBP TD and member of the Oireachtas Communications Committee, Brid Smith, said Facebook's assurances did not go far enough.
"It opens up the whole question of how social media is being used to create fake news around this referendum.
"So Facebook need to be told to take down sites and there needs to be accountability," she said.