herald

Sunday 20 August 2017

No women in top 10 influential Irish people on Twitter

Less than 25pc of Ireland's most powerful people on Twitter are women and no female made it into the top 10, according to a new survey.

Research was carried out to see who the country's top political influencers online were and women made their first appearance at number 15 and number 19.

Just two women make the top 20 of the list - TD Lucinda Creighton at 15 and journalist Elaine Byrne at 19 - who currently lives in Sydney, Australia.

Outside of leaders of political parties, Ms Creighton ranks as the most influential TD with 152 "power followers" and a total of 15,000 public followers.

The list was compiled by public relations firm Wilson Hartnell, who looked at a person's public reach as well as their "influence on other influencers."

Of the 200 listed influencers just 43 of them are women.

Economist and commentator David McWilliams topped the list and took the number one spot with 167 power followers. Mr McWIlliams has 112,849 followers on his personal Twitter account.

In second place, is Today FM presenter Matt Cooper who had 99,157 followers on Twitter.

The females named are a mix of politicians, commentators and journalists.

Following on from Ms Creighton and Ms Byrne, just two other women made it into the 20s - Sunday Times political correspondent Sarah McInerney at 23 and Irish Times columnist Una Mullally at 28.

OPINION

According to the agency's head of public affairs, Alistair Hodgett, the possibility of shaping public opinion online is big.

"The potential of social media for shaping and informing politics and policy is a political prize waiting to be taken," Mr Hodgett said.

"Influence in politics or over policy via social media is not the same as political power or influence, but it is a growing element of it," he added.

Other women that were at the top of this new list were Sinn Fein Vice President and Dublin Central TD Mary Lou McDonald at 33 as well as Tanaiste Joan Burton at number 40.

Ms Burton, has 117 power followers and 9,458 public followers, even though the Tanaiste is not an active user and has not tweeted in almost three years.

hnews@herald.ie

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