A Fianna Fáil TD has tabled a motion in the Dáil aiming to tackle the rise of phoney accounts and orchestrated online campaigns on social media.

The bill has been introduced by James Lawless, the party’s spokesperson on science, technology, research and development.

It would keep the Government's Strategic Communications Unit in check as it has a provision that would ban the use of public money for political purposes.

The Online Advertising and Social Media (Transparency) Bill 2017 also aims "to ensure integrity within the online political sphere."

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten acknowledged that more could be done in this area but told Deputy Lawless that the Government could not support his bill as it stood.

He said he acknowledged the thrust of the bill which aims to reduce the risk of external actors seeking to create false political campaigns.

But Mr Naughten said it could give rise to unintended consequences as the definition of a 'political end' was so broad that the bill essentially prohibits the spending of public money of any kind, on advertising online, any matter dealt with by the State, or funded by the State in any way.

He also said: "Once we start to tamper with online free speech, or try to police who does or does not have the right to use social media, we run the risk of becoming more like those who would abuse the system in the first place."