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Poll: Should social media posts be held in contempt of court?

There’s a debate over the role social media plays in court cases after the Jobstown trial verdict last week.

Image: Shutterstock/Maksim Kabakou

DO YOU THINK Ireland should legislate to include social media posts that comment on ongoing trials in contempt of court?

Fine Gael TD Josepha Madigan is to table a bill to make contempt of court a statutory offence, and believes commenting on (as opposed to factual reporting on) ongoing criminal trials on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook should be held in contempt, as it is for media organisations.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Madigan said that she believed the law needed to be updated after the ‘Jobstown Not Guilty’ social media campaign.

But there are concerns about how this would be policed, and that it could infringe on freedom of speech rights if it was over-enforced.

So. do you think social media posts should be held in contempt of court?

Poll Results:

Yes (4086)
No (3474)
I don't know (473)


This article has been updated to clarify the difference between biased commentary on ongoing court cases, and objective, factual reporting. 

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