Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Chris Ison/Press Association
Tweet Tweet

The state has asked Twitter to block 13 accounts in Ireland this year...

…and Twitter has refused.

THE IRISH STATE, through the courts and other government agencies, has requested that Twitter withhold tweets from a total of 13 accounts so far this year.

Twitter said no in all cases.

The figures come from the microblogging site’s twice-yearly Transparency Report, which was published last week.

It found that, between January and June this year, Irish courts and government agencies made two separate applications to have accounts removed from the streams of users in Ireland.

These requests, had they been granted, would have blocked a total of 13 accounts from appearing  to Twitter-users with Irish IP addresses.

removal

Twitter sometimes withholds content on the basis of a formal request from an authorised party (a court, police force, or government agency) on the basis that the content might break the law of a given country.

That might mean, for example, an account that impersonates a real individual, or tweets that constitute harassment or threats.

Responding to questions from TheJournal.ie, a Twitter spokesperson declined to give any further details on the latest report, including details on the accounts and tweets that would have been affected by the requests.

Similarly, a spokesperson from An Garda Síochána would not comment on whether or why the force has made such requests to Twitter, and a spokesperson for the Courts Service was not available for comment.

When content is withheld, however, it looks something like this on your Twitter feed, according to the company’s guidelines:

tweetwithheld

When an account is being blocked, it will appear like this:

Interestingly, the Irish government has also made three requests for information on four different accounts, according to the report.

One of the three requests was successful.

info-requests

According to Twitter, government requests for user information typically revolve around criminal investigations.

A spokesperson for the Data Protection Commissioner, which was set up to monitor the private information of members of the public, told TheJournal.ie that requests for information like this had to strike a balance between the needs of criminal investigations and the rights of internet users:

The Data Protection Commissioner has consistently stressed that proportionality in relation to law enforcement/intelligence access to personal information is vital…

Read: Irish government asks Twitter for some users’ account details>

Private answers: Irish people are now less worried about social media security>

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
16
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.