Credit: Gript

Martin: “It’s for the Electoral Commission to monitor what is appropriate”

Irish Media Minister Catherine Martin has said that it would be the job of the government’s new Electoral Commission to “monitor” what communications are “appropriate” during Irish elections, when asked about billionaire Elon Musk’s comments to her last week.

Last Friday, Gript asked Martin about new EU regulations around so-called “misinformation,” and the potential impact on democracy of letting politicians decide what is true and what is false.

During a now viral exchange, which has accrued a total of 3.4 million views on the social media site X to date, Martin said that “anything that can prevent misinformation is to be welcomed.”

This prompted South African billionaire and owner of the X platform, Elon Musk, to dub the Minister’s response “concerning” on free speech grounds.

“This is concerning, as the temptation for governments to engage in political censorship is almost impossible for them to avoid,” the Tesla CEO said.

The self-described “free speech absolutist” entrepeneur added: “When is the next election in Ireland?”

Following this exchange, at a press conference on Tuesday this week, Martin was asked by Virgin Media’s Richard Chambers if she was “concerned” by the possibility of Musk “becoming involved” in Irish “domestic politics.”

“I think, you know, I’m not going to comment on on individuals,” Martin replied.

“It’s for the Electoral Commission itself to monitor what is appropriate in relation to communications and the operation of the elections. And so, I’m not going to comment on an individual or a group, or an organisation, when we have the Electoral Commission there.”

Ireland’s Electoral Commission was established by the government in February of this year to fulfil a variety of roles, including reviewing constituency boundaries, registering political parties, and more.

However, the Commission also has another remit – namely, fighting alleged “misinformation” during election time.

If this body deems a piece of information to be false, the group has the power to issue “take down” notices, “correction” notices, “labelling” orders and “access blocking” orders to social media platforms to have them take down or modify the allegedly offending content. For platforms that don’t comply with the directions, the Commission may apply to the High Court for an order directing compliance with the notice.

This week Gript asked the Electoral Commission a series of questions at a press event, during which the group said it had “very extensive powers” to “require the correction or removal of information we believe to be incorrect” – all in an effort to “enhance democracy.” That clip can be viewed below.



Share mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer mdi-chevron-left Prev Next mdi-chevron-right Related Comments Members can comment by siging in to their account. Non-members can register to comment for free here.
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Do you agree with the Government's plan to reduce speed limits?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...