Misinformation grows on social media platforms in Ireland

False, misleading, and harmful content is increasing on Irish social media platforms.

According to a major study, the level of misinformation and disinformation has gradually grown on Irish social media platforms since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ‘Uisce Faoi Thalamh’ report from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue looked at 13,180,820 posts from 1,640 accounts across 12 online platforms and found that the number of posts and engagement levels, as well as the number of active accounts, increased year on year between 2020 and 2023, reports the Irish Examiner.

The study also found that social media platforms are “not successfully enforcing their own community guidelines, and there is a clear and obvious enforcement gap on platforms that allow false, misleading or harmful content to survive.”

Elon Musk’s platform X is where the most misleading activity occurred for eight of the nine topics analysed.

The messaging app Telegram continues to grow as a key platform for organisation and discussion within this mis- and disinformation ecosystem, and far-right groups and individuals, as well as alternative media outlets, play a “major role” in it.

“Hateful ideologies spread with ease, with support for white nationalism, antisemitism and Islamophobia observed on platforms like Telegram and Instagram, while Holocaust denial and the promotion of Nazi material by Irish actors were constant on alternative platforms like Gettr and Gab,” the report says.