Unhappy and happy emojis; Stephen Collins, Irish Times’ former political editor and columnist
Put a happy face on….
If Sinn Féin has the energy and the resources to dominate social media and disseminate its message there is nothing wrong with that.
Where it begins to get sinister is the way in which the party’s keyboard warriors seek to intimidate people propounding different views.
For instance the [Dublin City University] study found a marked difference between the emoji icons used to react to posts by the parties.
“Haha”, or “Angry” constituted 94 per cent of emoji reactions for posts by Fine Gael, and 90 per cent for Fianna Fáil, while they only accounted for 7 per cent of these reactions to posts by Sinn Féin.
….The study found that 91 per cent of the emoji reactions to Sinn Féin posts were “Love”.
What it suggests is that the Sinn Féin keyboard army was not just actively pushing its own message but attacking the messages being put out by its political opponents.
…. Whether it is down to poor organisation or fear of intimidation by the “Shinnerbots”, the two parties now negotiating a programme for government appear oblivious to the daily assault they suffer on social media, which is merely a harbinger of what awaits them when the next election comes around.