*Photograph: Kevin L Smith
Multiple locations in North Clare have been targeted by an ‘imposter’ who has created fake accounts online of various landmarks.
The Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands, Doolin Pier and the village of Doolin have all had fake accounts created in their name on Facebook which instead of bolstering their reputation has in fact caused offence and damage.
Reports have been made to An Garda Síochána over the actions of the Visit Doolin page that was first created in the last seven to eight years and also has a website domain of the same name which has been critical and “damaging” for the village.
Speaking to The Clare Echo, Chairperson of Doolin Tourism, Niall Hughes confirmed that members of their group have approached Gardaí on the matter. “We’ve also been in touch with Facebook and asked them to take down the page and moderate it but unfortunately we’ve had no success there”.
He outlined that there had been “serious issues” in the past with relation to a fake page for The Cliffs of Moher. “There is an issue with the Aran Islands, Doolin Pier, the people involved have a huge amount of Facebook pages set up representing landmarks throughout the North-West pretending to promote them on behalf of the local destination but they are doing quite the opposite”. Other areas targeted include Doolin Ferries and Lahinch.
Social media companies have a lot to answer for, Niall maintained. “The problem is this sort of stuff is being tolerated by the likes of Facebook, posts like that get a huge amount of attention and a huge amount of traffic, a lot of people are very upset not only locally but internationally, stuff like that generates clicks and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the modus operandi. Unfortunately genuine people and businesses trying to promote the area get associated with this, we’re all trying to do our best in the current circumstances and this is just another knock”.
The Clare Echo understands that it is the same individual operating the fake pages and that they are living outside of the county.