DCC social media ban of IC journalist lifted

DCC social media ban of IC journalist lifted Bank of Ireland lit up as part of Dublin City Council's 'Winter Lights' event. Photo: DCC

Dublin City Council (DCC) has admitted to blocking a journalist from The Irish Catholic from its X (Twitter) page in error, following an innocuous post about its ‘Winter Lights’ event.

Multimedia journalist Jason Osborne was blocked from the council’s page after saying: “I appreciate the honesty of ‘Winter Lights’. In no realistic sense are the majority of people celebrating Jesus’ birth. That event 2000 years ago is just a distant foundation for our modern party season. That quiet, subtle world-shift will be celebrated by few in Ireland, 2023.”

Asked why the account was blocked, a spokesperson for DCC said that following a “large number of distasteful and abusive comments primarily on X” about Winter Lights, it was decided to start blocking accounts.

Mr Osborne posted the comment on December 16, and it was not until this paper contacted the council that the ban was lifted.

In a statement to this paper regarding the decision, DCC said: “As you know, the brand, ‘Winter Lights’ was created in 2020 by Dublin City Council as a series of events featuring illuminated installations and projections at various locations around the Dublin City Centre, transforming the urban landscape into a dazzling spectacle.

“We received a large number of distasteful and abusive comments from primarily X (Twitter) accounts in relations to this campaign. We took the decision to block a number of accounts, however @JasonOsborneIC was blocked in error. Thank you for bringing this to our attention and we have unblocked @JasonOsborneIC and he will be able to see posts from Dublin City Council’s Twitter account once again.”

The council did not state any policy they have for staff regarding blocking individuals from their social media channels.