13/03/2020

Other News In Brief

Social Media Companies Urged To Tackle Misinformation On Covid-19

Social media companies have been urged to "step up their game" in tackling misinformation on Covid-19.

Making the call, Labour Party Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly, said: "With Covid-19 now being defined as a global pandemic and Governments around the world taking serious measures to tackle the spread of this virus, I think it is vital that social media companies do more to highlight unbiased information about Covid-19.

"As people are encouraged to work from home and maintain social distancing, people will be spending more time on their phones, scrolling through apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. These types of companies should prioritise factual, medically sound, unbiased information on our newsfeeds.

"We are living in an age where misinformation can spread extremely quickly. It shouldn't be too much for social media companies to have public health warnings from the HSE at the top of people's newsfeeds and also for posts from verified news and health sites to be prioritised.

"While social media has the potential to add to a lot of misinformation on this virus, we can see from campaigns on Twitter and Facebook that it is bringing out the best of us as a nation, with many people offering to help the elderly or those who are in self-isolation with making sure they have the basics.

"Social media companies must now step up to ensure people are getting the right information."

Tánaiste Expresses 'Deepest Sympathy' On The Passing Of Joan Lawrie

The Tánaiste Simon Coveney has expressed the "deepest sympathy of the entire Fine Gael organisation" at the passing of Joan Lawrie.

Mr Coveney said: "Joan Lawrie was a mother who raised a beautiful family. They were her world and last April that world was turned upside down with the brutal murder of Joan's daughter, Lyra McKee.

"I met Joan alongside President Higgins, the Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister in the side chapel of St Anne's Cathedral and she told us all she had 'lost her baby'.

"It is a moment I will never forget. All of our hearts broke for an innocent young woman and her innocent mother and family."

The Tánaiste and the entire Fine Gael organisation once again calls on anyone with information on the murder of Lyra McKee to cooperate with the PSNI.

Simon Coveney concluded: "I have gotten to know Joan's daughter Nicola in the last year and I would like to send my condolences to her and the entire family at the passing of Joan."

All Public Libraries Closed Alongside Other Council Buildings

Dublin City Council have announced a number of service closures following yesterday's announcement from the Taoiseach on Covid-19.

Services closing to the public from 8am today until at least 29 March:

• All Dublin City Council Libraries

• All Dublin City Council-run Sports, Leisure, and Community Centres

• The Hugh Lane Gallery

• Motor Tax Office (except by prior appointment)

• 14 Henrietta St

• Richmond Barracks in Inchicore

• City Hall (except for private events and the cafe)

• The Lab on Foley St

All other offices and facilities will remain open, including the Civic Offices, all Area Offices, the DRHE offices on Parkgate St, Parks, Bring Centres and Recycling Centres.

All of the above arrangements will be kept under review.

(MH/CM)

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