Google stops ads in Ireland's abortion referendum


Google is banning abortion-related advertising ahead of Ireland's referendum on the eighth amendment.

Speaking on the same programme, TJ McIntyre, a law lecturer in UCD and chair of Digital Rights Alliance said the steps taken in the referendum by Google and Facebook could act as a blueprint for how they will behave internationally going forward.

Meanwhile, Facebook said Tuesday it will block foreign adverts aimed at the Irish referendum, "as part of our efforts to help protect the integrity of elections and referendums from undue influence".

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'This is alarming when you consider a growing number of people exclusively rely on social media to consume news and shape their decision making process when it comes to elections and referenda'.

Thinking about taking out an election ad on Google? The ads will be blocked until the Irish go to the polls on May 25. This will affect advertising that appears on Google and YouTube.

The referendum will decide the fate of the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, one of the most severe prohibitions on abortion in the Western world.

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The United States Senate introduced legislation late past year - the imaginatively named Honest Ads Act - that would require clearer identification of online ad content and more transparency as to who is buying it.

The policy change comes a day after a similar move by Facebook, which said it would no longer accept ads from outside the country that seek to influence the referendum.

Government leaders will consider introducing a bill to legalize abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy if the Eighth amendment is repealed.

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The anti-abortion coalition said that Google had caved to pressure from pro-abortion groups and that the ban was motivated by a desire "to prevent voters from being informed". With a team of experienced journalists and bloggers, reaches more than 750,000 pro-life advocates each week via our web site, email news reports, social networking outreach and weekday radio program. Yesterday, the transparency campaigner Gavin Sheridan tweeted that it was now his view that the No side would win the campaign because its online spending was dwarfing that of the Yes campaign.