Discussions between Oireachtas, Facebook, and Twitter on support for TDs and Senators facing abuse on social media

Facebook and Twitter are offering special support services for TDs and Senators who feel they are the subject of abuse online.

The two social media giants provided briefings to politicians earlier this year with both promising enhanced facilities for reporting harassment and other harmful content.

According to an internal Oireachtas paper, Facebook opened a new reporting channel that TDs and Senators can have direct access to.

They also promised to deliver briefings to politicians focused on “safety and security” for their use of both Facebook and their parent company Meta’s other major platform Instagram.

These seminars would take place in Leinster House and would be carried out on a regular basis to cater for all working there, according to the briefing.

It said: “Facebook to work with the Oireachtas in encouraging Members to use the [name redacted] reporting channel.”

Twitter said they would be carrying out “best practice” training for TDs, Senators, and their staff, with plans for a series of workshops.

A “partner support portal” was also made available to all political parties and groups with the Oireachtas to take a role in helping “expedite responses” to abusive material that was reported.

Twitter said they would “onboard” a centralised Oireachtas account to the portal that would allow for direct access to report abusive or harmful tweets.

The memo said: “This account owner can also act as a primary point of contact between Twitter and the Houses of Oireachtas for escalations.”