Google stops ads in Ireland's abortion referendum

11 May, 2018, 04:21 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Google stock

A spokesperson for Google said: "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".

The vote is due to take place in a little over two weeks time.

This will not limit or omit any content found in Google searches and will focus on the ads.

"As part of our efforts to help protect the integrity of elections and referendums from undue influence, we will begin rejecting ads related to the referendum if they are being run by advertisers based outside of Ireland", said Facebook in a statement on its website.

It is unclear if Google will unpause the ads after the vote.

Google has banned all advertisements for both sides in the abortion referendum in Ireland.

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Before Facebook started to block advertising related to the referendum, but which does not belong to Irish advertisers. The post continued, explaining that banning ads is in the spirit of Irish electoral law, which prohibits campaigns from accepting donations from outside the country. The company said that "foreign entities" appeared to be trying to influence the result.

The Transparent Referendum Initiative, an independent watchdog group, reports most of the online ad purchases came from pro-life groups, including some in the United States, England and Canada.

Speaking to the Guardian, a technology spokesperson for Ireland's opposition party Fianna Fáil, described Google's decision to ban the adverts as "too late in the day".

"We believe this referendum will be won on facts, and now when undecided voters are searching online, they'll see the most relevant answers to their questions - not the ones that are paid to be put in front of them".

The Save the Eighth campaign has been facing an uphill battle, since Ireland's political establishment has placed itself firmly in the Repeal camp, and foreign money has poured in from pro-abortion groups to back the Repeal lobby.

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