Twitter ‘unwilling’ to act over tweet about DUP politician’s dead son

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has accused Twitter of failing to act after an anonymous account targeted party member Diane Dodds MLA.

It followed Mrs Dodds posting a message wishing her followers a happy new year. An anonymous user replied with a reference to her late son, Andrew, who was born with spina bifida and died in 1998 aged eight. Mrs Dodds confirmed she spoke to the PSNI about the tweet.

Mr Donaldson described the post as a “hate crime” and said there was a “real need to call time on the ‘wild west’ online where a small number of people believe they can say or do what they like without consequence”.

‘Fuelled by hatred’

He criticisd the social media company on Sunday for failing to remove the anonymous account.

“Despite the launch of a police investigation and universal condemnation, it seems Twitter is unwilling to take the action necessary against those who are fuelled by hatred,” he said.

“What is even more shocking is Twitter have responded to say after reviewing the information they did not find a violation of their rules.”

Former DUP leader Arlene Foster, who has previously called for tighter regulations to tackle online trolling, also criticised the abusive post.

“I have just retweeted one of the most vile things I have read on Twitter and I have read some awful stuff on Twitter,” she said. “I want people to see what republicans are tweeting to unionist representatives. There must be action.” – PA

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