Facebook bans foreign ads in Ireland's abortion vote

Facebook bans foreign ads in Ireland's abortion vote

Facebook will no longer accept any advertisements related to the upcoming abortion referendum if they are coming from advertisers based outside Ireland.

The heated pro-life versus pro-choice debate has led to reports of foreign influencers attempting to sway the Irish people through online campaigns.

Facebook has also indicated it will implement the same rule for future elections in Ireland, disallowing any ads that do not come from registered entities here.

"Our View Ads feature - which enables Irish Facebook users to see all of the ads any advertiser is running on Facebook in Ireland at the same time - has been fast-tracked and is operational".

Facebook is using Ireland's abortion referendum to test policies meant to prevent foreign meddling in elections.

We have established a dedicated reporting channel for advocacy groups on both sides of the campaign, and for the Transparent Referendum Initiative, so that they can surface any issues they identify directly to us.

With just over two weeks to go until the 25 May vote on liberalising Ireland's strict abortion laws, Facebook announced it would restrict advertising to organisations and people based in the Republic.

In addition, Facebook is planning to introduce a searchable database to show how much an advertiser is spending, and the demographic details of the audience that a group is trying to reach.

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On April 25th, Facebook launched the view ads feature in Ireland. "This is about regulation and transparency", Ryan said.

Europe in particular has become a testing ground for some of Facebook's changes to protect against political interference.

Researchers are now focused on the referendum in Ireland and the platform's role in the campaign.

Abortion has always been a divisive issue in Ireland.

Last week, Gavin Sheridan, a former employee for Storyful, was able to trace one webpage, ostensibly an information source for undecided voters but with no verifiable identification or contact details, to conservative Roman Catholic groups in the United States.

The company has insisted that it is not taking any sides in the Eighth Amendment referendum campaign.

A new system will allow groups to flag adverts which they feel may have been paid by outside parties.

No. There is no facility for ordinary users to report the ads directly to Facebook. "I think Google and Facebook and all the other social media companies out there will be responsible in relation to this and are facing the consequences that can happen as a result of this", he added.

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