Police investigate 'disgusting' tweet sent to DUP MLA about dead son

Police investigate 'disgusting' tweet sent to DUP MLA about dead son

POLICE are investigating a tweet sent to DUP MLA Diane Dodds referencing her late son.

PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne confirmed the force was investigating the tweet, sent on New Year's Eve.

The post, which was sent in reply to a New Year's message posted by Mrs Dodds, is still visible and the account that posted it remains active.


Describing the tweet as 'disgusting', DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson called for identity verification processes to be implemented by social media companies.

"Like most online cowards, this latest abuse directed at Diane Dodds came from someone hiding behind a cloak of anonymity," he said.

"This must be addressed and a verification process introduced.

"The social media platforms point to their reporting mechanisms but it is abundantly clear these don't work.

"Even in this latest case the Twitter response is that despite such disgusting abuse, they don't find it to be 'a violation of our rules'.

"Even had Twitter decided to take action in this case and remove the account there would be nothing to stop this individual from simply starting afresh with a new username and the cycle could continue again.

"This is a deliberate choice by the social media platforms but it must stop."

Mrs Dodds, the MLA for Upper Bann, is the wife of DUP MP Nigel Dodds.

The couple's son, Andrew, was born with spina bifida and died in 1998 shortly before his ninth birthday.

In a statement, Chief Constable Byrne confirmed they are investigating the tweet.

"Earlier today we received a report of offensive comments made towards an individual on social media," he said.

"We take incidents of this nature very seriously.

"We have spoken with her and our inquiries are continuing."