Google blocks all online ads related to Eighth Amendment referendum

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A NUMBER OF groups campaigning for a No vote in the upcoming Eighth Amendment referendum have said that a decision from Google to ban all advertisements related to the vote is an attempt to "rig" the vote in favour of the yes side.

The National Review reports the decisions by Facebook and Google "disproportionately [harm] pro-life advocates who have relied more heavily than their opponents on digital advertising". The ban includes ads on the YouTube video platform, which is owned by Google.

Google says it is responding to fears that foreign organisations and individuals could overly influence the outcome of the Irish referendum on abortion.

In a statement, 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'.

It is unclear if Google will unpause the ads after the vote. Facebook has plenty of motive to try and prevent foreign actors from buying politically charged ads.

The electoral law of Ireland prohibits foreign organizations to Finance the electoral campaigns.

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Google is making this decision amidst concern that ads from overseas could have an impact on the democratic process here in Ireland.

However this US -first focus leaves other regions vulnerable to election fiddlers - hence Google deciding to suspend ad buys around the Irish vote, albeit tardily.

He goes on to cite a pro-abortion columnist whom he claims began baiting the tech companies in recent weeks, saying that the pro-life campaign "will be modeled on those that helped both Donald Trump and Brexit to victory" and that it will deploy "fake news" across social media.

Mr Lawless has been pushing for a law requiring all online advertisers to disclose the publishers and sponsors behind ads.

Ireland does not allow political donations from overseas but that has not been applied to social media, something some U.S. groups, particularly anti-abortion groups, had taken advantage of to buy online ads.