Sunday 20 October 2019

Fake news could disrupt European elections: Varadkar

Brought to book: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with authors Mark O’Brien (left) and Joe Breen at the launch of ‘The Sunday Papers’. Photo: Arthur Carron
Brought to book: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with authors Mark O’Brien (left) and Joe Breen at the launch of ‘The Sunday Papers’. Photo: Arthur Carron
Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says there are concerns fake news could be used to disrupt next May's European elections.

Mr Varadkar said the Government remained vigilant to the threat fake news posed to democracy, but insisted the risks to the electoral process were "generally quite low".

He added that the free press was paramount for democracy and there was an "enormous responsibility" on the Government to protect against internal and external threats.

"For this reason, a year ago we established a group on the security of Ireland's electoral process, to analyse the threat of fake news and deliberate disinformation and the risks it may pose to our democracy," he explained.

"And while the group has found the risks in Ireland are generally quite low, we'll continue to be vigilant.

"For example, we're going to hold an open policy forum on the regulation of online political advertising, and certainly in the run-in to the European elections, a lot of us have a concern about forces that may try to disrupt those elections."

The Taoiseach was speaking at the launch of 'The Sunday Papers: A History of Ireland's Weekly Press' last night.

Irish Independent

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