According to sources, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar suggested creating anonymous accounts online in order to generate positive feedback regarding news in the media.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is currently facing serious backlash following his suggestion to implement fake internet accounts to represent false public opinion. The statement, which was outlined in a biography based on the Taoiseach, has resulted in Mr Varadkar being branded as a fraud due to his suggestion to circulate ‘fake news’ online. Mr Varadkar allegedly proposed the idea whilst contesting the Fine Gael leadership.
The book, which delved in to Mr Varadkar’s social media strategy campaign prior to succeeding former Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, highlights: “At one point, Varadkar floated the idea to one TD of creating anonymous accounts to make positive comments under online stories on popular news websites. It’s unclear how far the proposal was pushed.”
Fianna Fáil James Lawless describing the claim as “shocking stuff” that would inevitably result in electoral fraud. Lawless argued that false accounts online should not be “deliberately deployed for political advantage.”
In addition to this, Lawless has also accused Mr Varadkar of offering “lame excuses” in refusing to support the Online Advertising and Social Media Bill, believing it to be a direct result of Mr Varadkar being “obsessed with spin.”
In response to the claim that the Taoiseach was planning on implementing fake accounts online to boost his status, a spokesman for Mr Varadkar stated: “the alleged course of action wasn’t taken and was never seriously considered.”
The spokesman for Mr Varadkar also referenced James Lawless’s claims regarding the Taoiseach’s ‘stalled bill’, outlining: “The Government isn’t supporting James Lawless’s bill on social media as part of it restricts free speech and would even restrict normal political activity like organising protests or meetings,” adding that the government is not opposed to working with Mr Lawless to “improve it.”