The Tanáiste has told the High Court he is concerned about the growing publication by anonymous persons of misleading content online, relating to politicians.
The statement was made as part of Micheál Martin's attempt to compel Google to reveal the identities of those behind an online scam which used his name and image.
The relevant ads consisted of two display adverts with a link to a fake newspaper article.
Both were displayed on websites maintained by a number of reputable newspapers and, according to the Tanáiste, they aimed to scam vulnerable people with little or no knowledge of cryptocurrency or financial trading.
The first featured a photo of Mr Martin, which was laid over photos of a luxury residence with a swimming pool and private jet.
The second featured his image with the caption, “He didn’t want to hide this possibility from the people of Ireland."
Google took down the ads but refused to hand over any information in relation to who was behind them, prompting the Tanáiste to seek reliefs from the High Court.
Aside from his concerns for his own reputational damage, Mr Martin is also worried that misleading content like this could erode trust in the political system.
The case will return to court next week.