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Facebook removes page of controversial Covid campaigner Dolores Cahill over misinformation

Cahill has made a number of false or misleading claims about the coronavirus over the course of the pandemic.

Dolores Cahill was an unsuccessful candidate in June's Dublin Bay South by-election.
Dolores Cahill was an unsuccessful candidate in June's Dublin Bay South by-election.
Image: Leah Farrell

FACEBOOK HAS SHUT down an account belonging to controversial campaigner Dolores Cahill for spreading misinformation about Covid-19.

A spokesperson for Facebook’s parent company Meta told The Journal that the former UCD professor’s page had been removed as it repeatedly shared harmful misinformation about the pandemic.

The spokesperson said Meta is taking “aggressive steps” to fight harmful Covid-19 misinformation on its platforms.

“Since the pandemic began we’ve removed over 16 million pieces of content from Facebook and Instagram containing harmful Covid-19 misinformation and have taken down groups and pages for repeatedly sharing this material.

This includes Dolores Cahill’s Facebook Page. We’ve also added warning labels to more than 167 million pieces of additional Covid-19 content thanks to our network of fact-checking partners.

Cahill, who unsuccessfully ran as an independent candidate in June’s Dublin Bay South Dáil by-election, has made a number of false or misleading claims relating to Covid-19 and to vaccines over the course of the pandemic.

Among her incorrect pronouncements was the claim that Covid-19 vaccines had not been safely tested before being rolled out. Several of the claims have been debunked by The Journal.

Her employment by the UCD School of Medicine was brought to an end earlier this year. 

She also hit the headlines after being filmed arguing with a garda sergeant outside an election count centre during the Dublin Bay South by-election. 

A study published in October found that Facebook pages belonging to a group co-founded by Cahill more than doubled the number of interactions they got in the first six months of 2021 despite the social media giant’s promise to tackle false claims.

The research from the UK-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) found that members of the World Doctors Alliance (WDA) now have more than half a million followers on their Facebook pages — a 13,000% increase since the start of the pandemic.

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About the author:

Céimin Burke

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