A Fake’s Progress


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

“I think that has an impact on people’s mental health and not in a positive way.”

He said politicians have to expect “a certain level of abuse” if they are willing to put their picture up on lampposts.

“That is often reflected online. It’s worse online and on social media because people can use the cloak of anonymity. To me, that’s cowardly but that’s the way people behave,” he said.

Varadkar lashes out at ‘cowardly’ anonymous trolls on social media (Independent.ie, July 17, 2017)

The book outlines how Mr Varadkar brought a team together to make his bid to succeed former Taoiseach Enda Kenny as Fine Gael leader. It describes how the campaign’s social media strategy was devised.

The book says: “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.”

Varadkar ‘suggested creating anonymous accounts online to make positive comments on news’ (Independent.ie, September 3, 2018)

Earlier: A Limerick A Day

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22 thoughts on “A Fake’s Progress

  1. Elron

    Id much rather have some insight into the conversations about not taxing these social media companies properly. They must be laughing at us- griping about identity and equality and inclusion while they shovel billions offshore. And the BS massive will get more upset about a hashtag…

  2. Rob_G

    I don’t think it is especially edifying that he suggested the setting up of anonymous accounts to talk up the FG*, but there is a significant difference between some new accounts popping up on the Journal with some oddly specific praise for some policy or initiative, and slinging really hateful, personal abuse at someone from the comfort of an anonymous username

    * I would be amazed if there was a single political party not engaged in this, btw

    1. phil

      Its not the TD’s its the youff , they consider it a great way to increase their profile within the party , you see plenty of it when the Prime time go to the audience for comment , there is always some 17 yr old who things the party in power is doing a great job …

      1. Ian-O

        Quite, like the willy-less little clown Killian Double Barrell Blah blah of the coathanger comments.

        God help him, he is really going to need to look at the current prostitution laws if he ever wants legal sex

  3. bisted

    …so some of the FG shills on here could be TDs…I know who I would guess is Noel Rock…really must try harder…

  4. ReproButina

    Would astroturfing like that fall foul of the EU’s Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD)? I know the UCPD is aimed more at businesses so if it doesn’t cover this, does it need to be expanded? Of course, if it does cover it than the UCPD could be used to tackle the Twitter Bots too.

  5. Tom Cooney

    I would suggest that Mr. Varadkar should look at his own manner when addressed respectfully in a social setting and and replying in a disrespectful and utterly unbecoming reply is utterly inappropriate. Drama School might work on this aspect of his public profile

    1. Rob_G

      I wouldn’t be so sure – Sinn Féin is the only party that I know of that actively recruits online activists, but I would be surprised if other parties weren’t doing similar, covertly if not overtly.

      1. steve white

        all parties encourage their members to post online text into radio, one presumes they encourage them to do it under their own names.

        1. Rob_G

          I imagine it’s both – under their own names for mostly inoffensive/party line stuff, anonymously for any nasty/dirty tricks stuff.

          1. steve white

            Well if you can show examples of Leo Varadkar directed anonymous accounts responding to political stories then I’ll be outraged by it but I can’t be if it didn’t happen.

      2. Johnny

        It’s ok Rob,no really it will all be ok…..
        Where’s your BFF Cian,can’t wait for his/her views on this…….

          1. Johnny

            Rob-when FF/FG hold a brown bag fund raiser they sell the best seats to the highest bidder.It appeals to the arriviste or nouveau riche,the loud the brash with no class….
            SF fundraisers in NY are all about respect,which is earned not bought !
            (Ps did you hear something about me badge:)

          2. Johnny

            It was over 20 million – it’s still the most democratic and fun Irish event in America-guys who left Ireland at 16 came America and now employ hundreds people in plastering,scaffolding or building.
            The blueshirts and plastic paddies hide behind Lord O’Reillys and that “billionaire” DOB’s front.Humpries sat at a 100,000 dollar table with vulture funds,trashy salesmen,stayed in the chairman’s hotel Fitzpatrick,who’s also DOB’s main man in NY…..
            It’s the most hideous display of trashy green clad “irish” Americans you could imagine,perfect for a FG minister !
            “The evening was Co-Chaired by Jennifer Morgan, President of Americas and Asia Pacific, SAP; Kelly Grier, US Chairman and Americas Managing Partner Elect, EY; and Michael Dowling, President and CEO, Northwell Health.

            Notable guests at the 2018 Gala included actor Liam Neeson; Ciarán Madden, Ireland’s Consul General; Antony Phillipson, British Consul General; Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason, Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Heather Humphreys, Ireland’s Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation.”

            Surfs up-holiday here Rob-Cian,Cian wha ya think….

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