Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Google bans abortion poll ads in Ireland

Image Shutterstock Image Shutterstock
Ray Hunter | 11 May, 2018, 04:22

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

The same link, which is made to look like a news article, .

The move follows Facebook's announcement on Tuesday that it would only allow adverts relating to the referendum to be bought by organisations located within the Republic of Ireland.

'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.

Given how close the vote now is both tech giants have been accused of acting too late to prevent foreign interests from using their platforms to exploit a loophole in Irish law to get around a ban on foreign donations to political campaigns by pouring money into unregulated digital advertising instead.

Trump's use of 'provocation' threatens North Korea peace talks
South Korean soldiers take down a propaganda loudspeakers on the border with North Korea on May 1, 2018 in Paju, South Korea. Trump told reporters on Friday that arrangements for the meeting had been set but didn't elaborate any further.

Today, Google announced the ban on all Eighth-related advertisements, including ads on Youtube and Google Adwords.

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. The company, along with other social networks, has been heavily criticized for a failure to stop election-related ads from Russian Federation from appearing on users' feeds in the lead-up to the 2016 US elections.

But at a press conference called by the pro-life campaign Save the 8th and the Iona Institute, campaigners claimed that the decision to ban ads on Google had been taken "because one side in this referendum is terrified of losing and wants to prevent voters from being informed".

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). 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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