misleading or harmful content to survive. This is a concerning revelation, as it indicates a failure by tech companies to effectively regulate and monitor the spread of disinformation and misinformation online.
Highlight the impact of the far-right and alternative media outlets within the mis- and disinformation ecosystem. The research has uncovered the significant role played by far-right groups and alternative media outlets in perpetuating hateful ideologies and conspiratorial content. Platforms like Telegram, Instagram, Gettr, and Gab have been identified as spaces where support for white nationalism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, Holocaust denial, and the promotion of Nazi material are prevalent. Additionally, alternative media outlets are producing confrontational content towards mainstream media, further contributing to the spread of misinformation and disinformation.
Discuss the interconnected nature of topics within the mis- and disinformation ecosystem. The study has revealed that discussions within the ecosystem are highly interconnected, with the same individuals engaging in conversations about varying issues. While health and Covid-19 dominated discussions during the pandemic years, topics such as the war in Ukraine, immigration, LGBTQ+ issues, and climate have gained prominence in recent years. This interconnectedness highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to addressing misinformation and disinformation across various topics.
Address the potential real-world impact of online discussions within the mis- and disinformation ecosystem. The study has found that online discussions often attempt to fuel offline hostility and violence, promoting anti-lockdown and anti-immigration mobilization, as well as targeting the LGBTQ+ community. Threatening and violent rhetoric towards government figures in relation to Covid restrictions, the arrival of refugees, and teaching children about LGBTQ+ issues has also been observed. These findings underscore the potential for online misinformation and disinformation to incite real-world unrest and conflict.
Emphasize the need for effective regulation and enforcement by tech companies. The research has highlighted clear and obvious enforcement gaps on platforms, allowing false, misleading, and harmful content to thrive. This indicates a failure on the part of tech companies to enforce community guidelines and curb the spread of misinformation and disinformation. There is an urgent need for tech companies to take proactive measures to address this issue and prevent the further proliferation of harmful content online.
In conclusion, the research on the spread of online misinformation and disinformation in Ireland paints a concerning picture of the growing influence of the far-right and the failure of tech companies to enforce community guidelines. The interconnected nature of topics and the potential real-world impact of online discussions further underscore the need for comprehensive and effective measures to address this issue. It is imperative for tech companies to prioritize the regulation and monitoring of content to prevent the spread of false, misleading, and harmful information online.