Calls for social media firms 'to wake up and take action' after online abuse of SF Senator

Calls for social media firms 'to wake up and take action' after online abuse of SF Senator

Fintan Warfield has said that a torrent of homophobic and transphobic abuse he suffered on Twitter led to an in-person attack outside Leinster House last week. File picture: Andres Poveda

A Sinn Féin Senator has reported a spate of online trolling to gardaí.

Fintan Warfield has said that a torrent of homophobic and transphobic abuse he suffered on Twitter led to an in-person attack outside Leinster House last week.

The Senator has called on social media networks to take action against trolling before they are forced to by law.

Mr Warfield, from Dublin, is a prominent LGBT activist and a member of the Cultural and Educational Panel in the Seanad.

Politicians across the political divide have shown their support for Mr Warfield on social media and have condemned the abuse he received online.

Sinn Féin TDs Louise O’Reilly and Eoin Ó Broin said he is a "fierce campaigner" and "a campaigner for equality, social justice and Irish unity", respectively.

Ms O'Reilly added: "These homophobic attacks won’t deter him."

The Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris extended his "solidarity with the Senator" and denounced the "disgusting and vile abuse directed at him".

He said: "Those behind it and those who quietly stand by and refuse to condemn it are disgraceful. Shame on them."

He also called on Twitter and other social media companies "to wake up and take action".

Chairperson of the Green Party and Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu said: "I suggest those who have so much time to hate on Fintan because he's gay go find a hobby."

RISE TD Paul Murphy added: "These homophobic far-right activists are becoming increasingly emboldened to target people. We need to build a united movement to stop them."

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