Belfast Telegraph

Google bans abortion ads ahead of Irish referendum

The move comes after Facebook announced it would not allow any foreign sources to promote material related to the referendum.

Google is to ban all adverts related to Ireland’s abortion referendum.

The move comes as part of efforts to improve “election integrity” in the run-up to the Eighth Amendment poll.

Facebook announced on Tuesday it would block foreign campaign material on its platform after fears were raised over outsider influence.

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Campaign posters in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

A Google spokeswoman said: “Following our update around election integrity efforts globally, we have decided to pause all ads related to the Irish referendum on the Eighth Amendment.”

Ireland has some of the strictest laws on terminations in the world, with the procedure barred unless the mother’s life is in danger.

Repealing the amendment would enable laws allowing abortion of pregnancies up to 12 weeks.

Votes will be cast on Friday May 25.

The technology giant’s ban is to be enforced from Thursday, covering its Google and YouTube sites, and will stay in place until after the vote.

Posted by Facebook Ireland on Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Facebook had already introduced a view ads feature – which enables Irish users to see all ads any advertiser is running on Facebook in Ireland at the same time.

Last month Irish data protection commissioner Helen Dixon raised concern that foreign actors could try to influence the referendum.

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