Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

Facebook Bans Non-Irish Abortion Poll Ads

Facebook Bans Non-Irish Abortion Poll Ads

The company, which was heavily criticised for failing to stop Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election, announced yesterday that it had banned advertisements relating to the sensitive referendum that did not originate inside Ireland.

The vote on whether or not to terminate Ireland's inherent ban on abortion has attracted considerations that foreign bands will make an effort to influence the debate during societal networking.

"Concerns have been raised about organisations and individuals based outside of Ireland trying to influence the outcome of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of Ireland by buying ads on Facebook".

Facebook is using Ireland's abortion referendum to test policies meant to prevent foreign meddling in elections. And while Ireland forbids foreign spending in campaigns, its election law is silent on digital activity.

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The company will rely on reports from established campaign groups relating to foreign-based ads.

Facebook said it would be working directly with political parties and campaign groups on both sides of the vote, who are being asked to notify the company "if they have concerns about ad campaigns".

The results were welcomed by Together For Yes who say poll shows consistent support for a Yes vote on the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

Ads uploaded to Facebook by organisations based in the country could still be funded by foreign sources, however. The business has shifted its news-feed algorithm to deemphasize political news, and has appreciated thousands of moderators internationally to spot rumors and extremist articles.

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Ireland faces a historical referendum on May 25, posing the question of whether to liberalize one of the hardest regimes in Europe, second only to Poland.

The company will soon start requiring political advertisers to be residents in the country where the election is taking place. We will then assess and act on those reports.

Facebook's new Ad View tool, which allows people to see all the ads that a Facebook page is running - and not merely those targeted at them - is an improvement, she said.

The Transparent Referendum Initiative has been tracking online advertising around the vote.

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Groups on both sides of the campaign were consulted before the changes were made. It demonstrates that the Yes campaign's message of care and compassion for women in Ireland is hitting home with people across the country.

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