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Debate sparks online over whether influencers should be paid to promote COVID-19 restrictions

The Taoiseach suggested that people with large social platforms should use them to promote guidelines relating to the coronavirus

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A debate has sparked online over whether influencers should be paid to promote COVID-19 restrictions.

The discussion began after Taoiseach Micheál Martin suggested to presenter Pat Kenny on Newstalk this morning that “maybe using more influencers” is needed to communicate the guidelines with young people – adding: “And this is happening”.

Following the discussion, listeners took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the impact influencers could have on encouraging young people to comply with guidelines – with some suggesting they should get paid if they do so.

One user wrote: “I am sure there are plenty of influencers who would be happy to do a ‘collab’ or ‘spon’ post/campaign with @MichealMartinTD for communicating #Covid_19 risks and guidelines!”

Another user wrote: “The government presumable pays radio stations, tv stations, billboards, bus stops for their covid marketing. Labour is labour and social media influencers should be fairly re-imbursed for the use of their platform.”

A third added: “Do you remember there a little while back there was widespread criticism and ridiculing of those who got their Covid information from influencers.. (I think the plan to get them on board is a great idea btw)”

Some users disagreed with the idea of paying influencers for promoting the restrictions, with one tweeting: “Paying influencers to post about Covid guidelines? Stop the world. I want to get off, please. I hear Mars is nice this time of year.”

Others brought up the fact that some influencers have been spotted jetting off during the pandemic, despite the travel restrictions put in place in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Yes let’s pay influencers who hopped straight on a plane once restrictions were eased and then got multiple gifted staycations to tell people to stay at home,” one person wrote.

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