Increased number of requests from An Garda Siochana to Facebook about its keyboard warriors

Meta owns Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp

There is an interesting story in the Irish Times this morning by Conor Gallagher about An Garda Siochana and social media.

An Garda Siochana has significantly increased the number of requests made to Meta (Facebook) for information about the private information of social media users.

Facebook owns Instagram and WhatsApp and the number of requests for information increased from an average of 5 requests per month to 21 per month since the second half of 2020. From July 2020 to December 2021 762 requests were made.

Information that could be provided includes email addresses, internet protocol (IP) addresses, names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card details.

It is not clear whether this increase was caused by Covid 19 and the increased number of threats against certain politicians and other individuals.

I suspect that the increased hate filled activity arising from the onset of Covid 19 and measures introduced to deal with its transmission is a significant contributory factor in the increase of requests for information.

And how many of these requests have been agreed to? Between 57 and 82 per cent.

So, keyboard warriors who delight in insulting and abusing individuals and groups of individuals by virtue of their sexuality, politics, ethnic origin, religion (or lack of it) need to bear in mind that free speech and a liberal democracy does not leave you immune from what you publish online.

Even if you are hiding for now.

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