X, formerly known as Twitter, has a lot to answer for when it comes to misinformation online, according to Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan.
The platform’s owner, Elon Musk, criticised the Irish Government following Thursday's riots in Dublin City Centre.
Mr Musk said this would be the Government’s “last term in office” and posted, “Ironically, the Irish PM hates the Irish people”.
He also responded to a post stating boxer Conor McGregor "should run for office" and "kick these losers out", writing, “Not a bad idea”.
Speaking on The Anton Savage Show this morning, Minister Ryan said Mr Musk’s comment could reflect why X has issues in taking down misinformation and worrying content on its website.
“Musk’s very powerful position is, in my mind, being used and abused,” he said.
“We know that here because we can see how they responded to us saying, ‘Listen, you can't put that stuff up because it’s dangerous, it’s inciting’ and they didn’t act.”
Rise in the far right
Mr Ryan said Thursday’s attack on a teacher and young children was “impossible to predict” - but said there is a pattern growing online and in cities.
“We have seen in this city - as in other cities across Europe - a rise in the far right,” he said.
“Particularly in a social media world where a lot of conspiracy theories and misinformation, but also a lot of absolute and diluted hatred, is allowed to roam free and has been finding expression in recent protests.
“We do have to review policing of particularly this kind of misinformed disinformation, hatred-inducing protests and agitation.”
Mr Ryan said it’s difficult to “completely police every aspect of the Internet” and many apps used by those rioting, such as Telegram, are not regulated in the EU.
“When you have a very large social media campaign immediately saying, ‘On the streets at 7pm, we’re going to riot’, drawing in the Gardaí in the same amount of time is difficult,” he said.
“But what the Gardaí did do is they immediately protected the crime scene... the first thing we have to do is protect the crime scene.
Minister Ryan said the riots started “with a small group of organised people”.
“They attacked guards protecting the crime scene, and then that kind of lawlessness spread, and people came in and added to it.
“I think the guards did a heroic job – looking online, you can see a lot of Gardaí working together and who put themselves in real danger.”
Mr Ryan said Ireland must ensure Dublin's streets are not taken over by "agitators".
"The first immediate important thing is to say, 'No, sorry, you can't riot, don't burn our buses, you don't loot'," he said.
"We want the city centre for everyone and not just the city centre, but every part of the country for everybody."