Google stops ads in Ireland's abortion referendum

The Irish abortion referendum

The Irish abortion referendum

Google is suspending all advertising connected to an Ireland pro-life bill in an effort to protect "election integrity", the tech giant announced Wednesday.

"We're suddenly being told that we will no longer be allowed to speak to voters on our channels, and we think that is outrageous", McGuirk said.

"As a result of increased efforts to ensure fair elections worldwide, we have chose to suspend all advertisements related to the referendum on the Eighth amendment to the Irish Constitution", - said in a statement.

The ban went into effect on Thursday morning.

Its decision follows Facebook's move to ban all referendum ads from outside Ireland.

In a statement, the groups said: "In this case, it means preventing campaigns that have done nothing illegal from campaigning in a perfectly legal matter".

Google tries to burst filter bubbles with redesigned 'News' app
The company also wants people to get to know the full story behind news to better educate themselves about what's happening. In fact, Google lifted a couple of features from its existing Newsstand app for the News app revamp .

The referendum is one of the first big elections held since the Cambridge Analytica scandal forced Facebook to answer questions from politicians around the world about its activities and the impact of targeted advertising for political ends.

Both sides of the abortion debate have given different reactions to Google's decision to ban ads on the referendum. Avi Kelin, an associate at Genova Burns, also said that Facebook and other social media platforms have no legal obligation to remove or ban foreign political ads that don't explicitly endorse one side.

Yesterday, in an unprecedented move, Google opted out of taking any more advertisements relating to the vote after criticism of foreign funds and anonymous accounts. Depending on what you search online, advertisers can select terms that make their ads appear when you search that term.

Ireland bars political donations from overseas, but the law does not apply to social media advertising.

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.

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