Facebook To Reject Foreign Ads On Eighth Amendment

Abortion referendum Ireland: Facebook ban ads on Eight Amendment referendum by foreign advertisers

"This is an issue we have been thinking about for some time", Facebook said. The move follows accusations that attempts have been made to swing votes across the world through foreign-funded campaigns and so-called astroturfing.

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.

Pro-abortion forces both inside Ireland and internationally have carried on an intense campaign to persuade the Irish to abandon their defense of preborn children, with the help of celebrities like U2's Bono and actor Liam Neeson as well as worldwide financiers such as George Soros.

The Irish referendum on whether or not to liberalise its abortion laws will give voters the first opportunity in 35 years to repeal a constitutional amendment that has long divided the once deeply Catholic nation.

Facebook said other features promised last month have also been fast-tracked in order to launch them in the run-up to the vote.

Concerns had been raised about worldwide organisations trying to influence the outcome of the upcoming abortion referendum by buying ads on Facebook.

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The delay in launching the feature, and the short time left in the campaign, led to criticism of the company.

They said, 'Our company approach is to build tools to increase transparency around political advertising so that people know who is paying for the ads they are seeing and to ensure any organisation running a political ad is located in that country'.

Facebook will then investigate and assess the ads. The problem came from interference in elections in the USA and in other areas as well. But the legislation does not cover money spent directly on digital advertising, a loophole that observers say has been exploited by groups overseas wishing to influence the vote.

What does it mean for advertising around the referendum?

. Facebook has some automated tools at its disposal that will help identify the ads and reject them.

The Green Party has welcomed the move and is now calling on Google to introduce similar restrictions on its YouTube platform.

No. There is no facility for ordinary users to report the ads directly to Facebook.

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