Facebook bans foreign ads in Ireland abortion referendum

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The social network said on Tuesday it would reject ads related to the May 25 vote, which could repeal the country's ban on abortion if the messages were purchased by "advertisers outside of Ireland".

On April 25, the company launched a trial of a "view ads" tool, which allows users to view all of the ads any advertiser is running on Facebook in Ireland at the same time.

Facebook has moved to block foreign advertisements relating to the upcoming Irish referendum on the Eighth Amendment.

"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 also said it is testing a process that will help it ensure advertisers are resident in the country where an election is taking place.

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.

However, Facebook insists that it will not be blocking campaigns and advocacy organisations in Ireland from using service providers outside Ireland. It added: "We will then assess and act on those reports". Its campaign Co-Director Ailbhe Smyth said: "We view this as a clear recognition by Facebook that external forces with vast resources can have disproportionate yet impactful influence in political campaigns".

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"Our goal is simple: to help ensure a free, fair and transparent vote on this important issue".

The first video features some of Ireland's top obstetricians who state the 8th amendment makes it hard to know when to intervene to save a woman's life.

Facebook has not applied such a policy to British elections or referendums. Those efforts will direct our artificial intelligence capabilities to identify fake accounts, misinformation, or foreign interference.

In a letter made public to all church members last Sunday, the PCI said that "meaningful protection for the unborn can only be secured if the Eighth Amendment is retained in the forthcoming referendum".

Facebook explained that the move was created to protect the integrity of elections and referendums from "undue influence".

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Together For Yes also welcomed the news.

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