Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Facebook just made an important decision regarding the abortion referendum

Google suspends all ads on Eighth Amendment referendum Google stops all ads about Irish abortion referendum amid worries about election integrity
Jay Anderson | 11 May, 2018, 04:19

Now in Ireland, social media and internet companies are not banned from accepting ads from groups outside of the state, while campaign groups are not allowed to receive foreign funding.

In a company statement, Google announced: "Following our update around election integrity efforts globally, we have chose to pause all ads related to the Irish referendum on the Eighth Amendment".

"Following our update around election integrity efforts globally, we have made a decision to pause all ads related to the Irish referendum on the Eighth Amendment", said the company.

The spokesperson said enforcement of the policy - which will cover referendum adverts that appear alongside Google search results and on its video sharing platform YouTube - will begin in the next 24 hours, with the pause remaining in effect through the referendum, with the vote due to take place on May 25.

A referendum should be held on 25 may.




Google has gone one step further and will reject all ads related to the referendum.

'The fact is that the online world is a rules-free zone for foreign interests who have been spending vast sums of money trying to influence voters ahead of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment, ' she said. Avi Kelin, an associate at Genova Burns, also said that Facebook and other social media platforms have no legal obligation to remove or ban foreign political ads that don't explicitly endorse one side.

The news comes amid increasing focus on how online ads were used in campaigns like the Brexit referendum or the 2016 United States election.

The National Review reports the decisions by Facebook and Google "disproportionately [harm] pro-life advocates who have relied more heavily than their opponents on digital advertising". Groups supporting the "Repeal The Eighth" movement, such as the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign, have sought to highlight how thousands of Irish women a year are forced to leave the country, simply in order to get access to safe abortion services.

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