Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Google and Facebook ban ads linked to Ireland's abortion referendum

Google and Facebook ban ads linked to Ireland's abortion referendum

Google will begin enforcing the measure, which will apply to all its platforms including the phenomenally popular YouTube video channel, on Thursday and continue until the May 25 ballot, according to the spokesman.

Concerns had been raised about the unregulated nature of online advertising and how people can be targeted in the context of the upcoming vote.

Elsewhere, most of the country's biggest media publishers appear not to have banned digital ads that are related to the referendum.

A campaigner on transparency issues has said social media companies including Google and Facebook are self-regulating advertising on the referendum on the Eighth Amendment in the absence of proper policy by the Government.

Google is now showing a range of ads about the Irish referendum, which will take place on 25 May.

Google is suspending all advertising connected to an Ireland pro-life bill in an effort to protect "election integrity", the tech giant announced Wednesday.

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Save the 8th spokesperson John McGuirk said that while Facebook's decision to ban foreign advertisers was welcome, the ban on all advertising through Google affected the No side in particular.

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

In a statement, the groups said: "In this case, it means preventing campaigns that have done nothing illegal from campaigning in a perfectly legal matter". Richard L. Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine, said that because Facebook Inc. and other social media platforms are private actors, they're free to ban ads from any source they choose, so long as their actions don't violate any federal anti-discrimination laws.

Ireland bars political donations from overseas, but the law does not apply to social media advertising.

It was clear from the outset that this referendum would be a playground for the much-maligned tactics used in the Trump and Brexit campaigns (Aaron Rogan writes).

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