BA [Hons] New Media Studies
Interest in Politics and Journalism, wish to work as a researcher in a newsroom.
Strong Researcher, with exceptional writing and production skills.
5 Years of Stage Crew and Theatre Production.
Volunteering and Community Work.
Intro Video to my Final Year Project.
Full Project Available Here: https://conordugganfyp.com/
On May 29th 2020, Donald Trump tweeted his support for Governor of Minnesota Tim Walz, in using the police and military in order to suppress Black Lives Matter protests. In this tweet Trump also quotes former Miami police chief Walter E. Headly, ‘when the looting starts the shooting starts.’ Twitter in response to Donald Trump’s tweet added a disclaimer: ‘This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public interest for the tweet to remain accessible.’
While most users would have such tweets removed and their accounts suspended, Twitter allowed Trump’s tweet and account to remain accessible in the public interest, but what is the Public Interest?
News Values are how a news item is valued based on its societal value and commercial value. Societal value appeals to a citizen audience and aims to motivate people to get socially involved, and point people toward possible solutions for societal problems. Commercial value is news created to appeal to a consumer audience, and concentrates on news that will sell. With the advent of the internet news audiences have moved online, as Temmerman and Mast identify, ‘audiences have unlimited options for information and where audiences have the ability to also produce and distribute content for other audiences, publication no longer guarantees reaching an audience.’
Twitter previously took no responsibility in what its users posted assuming they did not break the Twitter rules regarding harassment and a news-worthy topic or subject, such as Donald Trump, can use social media platforms to share their message without a mediator. The social media user is expected to disseminate the information themselves; however, the unbiased dissemination of information requires the user consumes a diverse set of viewpoints with the ability separate themselves from their biases, and according to Iosifidis and Nicoli, ‘Online-mediated citizens use these tools to confirm their own biases. In doing so, they create online “camps” that amplify distrust and widen polarization.’
On January 8th, 2021, Twitter among other social media platforms permanently suspended the accounts of then U.S. President Donald Trump. This was following the Capitol Riots in Washington D.C. allegedly incited by Trump that took place on January 6th, 2021; and a series of posts made by Trump, which Twitter decided had broken their terms of service.
In an announcement made by Twitter on January 8th, 2021, the company states:
‘We assessed the two Tweets referenced above under our Glorification of Violence policy, which aims to prevent the glorification of violence that could inspire others to replicate violent acts and determined that they were highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.’
On the 27th of February 2021, over 500 protestors marched on Dublin to protest lockdown restrictions. 125 Gardaí were deployed in order to control the protestors, the largest number of Gardaí deployed to such a protest which have been taken place since Summer of 2020. After a firework was fired at Gardaí by one of the protestors, the Gardaí charged and began subduing and arresting violent members of the gathered protestors. Twenty-three arrests were made, with three Gardaí being injured during the clash.
The Irish Government has formed a committee to develop and enact the proposed Online Safety and Media Regulation bill which passed in the Dáil on the 8th of December 2020, in order to combat online disinformation and criminal behaviour. This bill established a multi-person Media Commission including an Online Safety Commissioner in order to regulate and enforce online safety codes for online services such as Twitter and Facebook to sanction non-compliant online services financially and criminally.
In this project I outline the mediation of Donald Trump on social media and explain the need for social media regulation, and a change in how both journalists and social media companies approach issues of public interest in the platforming of dangerous ideas and individuals.
This topic is then grounded in Irish setting in regards to the increasing issue of far-right protests and movements within the Republic of Ireland.
Election 2020: The Mediation and Suspension of Donald Trump by Social Media Companies in the Public Interest.