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22 May 2022

Regulation of online platforms needed, insists Longford councillor

Cllr Ureumu Adejinmi

Cathaoirleach of Longford Municipal District, Cllr Uruemu Adejinmi

Cathaoirleach of Longford Municipal District Cllr Uruemu Adejinmi is one of a number of female politicians calling for greater regulation on social media and tougher sanctions in relation to online abuse and harassment.

Cllr Adejinmi spoke during an event organised by the National Women’s Council which took place via Zoom and the NWC’s Facebook page.

“There needs to be regulation of online platforms. I think that has to be sped up so that they are held accountable for any multiple breaches of whatever legislation is brought forward,” said Cllr Adejinmi.

“There should be some responsibility placed on these providers — they’re certainly making a lot of money so they should invest in protecting the people who are spending their money on their websites as well.”

Limerick councillor, Elisa O’Donovan, who has connections to Longford through her uncle, former north Longford councillor Luie McEntire detailed the exhaustive measures she had to go through in order to have defamatory, “misogynistic” and “very disgusting” videos of her removed from YouTube.

Following a privacy complaint, she was told to contact her abuser directly but, because she was uncomfortable doing that, she made a copyright complaint and had a solicitor make a complaint based on defamation, which resulted in the videos being blocked in Ireland only.

“The lack of moderation, the lack of safety when you go and say: ‘Look I am being harassed, I am being abused, I am being defamed’ and someone going: ‘Oh well yeah, just take that up directly with the person abusing you,’ is insane,” said Cllr O’Donovan.

“They have to be called out and they have to step up and start protecting women online,” she said.

Cllrs Adejinmi and O’Donovan were two of four women to feature on the #StopOnlineAbuse discussion last week.

Also featured were Cllr Grace McManus from Wicklow County Council and Green Party chair and Dublin city councillor Hazel Chu who has been a victim of online abuse on many occasions. The webinar can be watched in its entirety on the National Women’s Council Facebook page.

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