Facebook will block ads from overseas ahead of abortion vote

Jack Feacon and Megan Apple at the launch of Youth for Yes

Facebook will block ads from overseas ahead of abortion vote

Facebook says starting Tuesday it will "begin rejecting ads related to the referendum if they are being run by advertisers based outside of Ireland".

Facebook is no longer accepting referendum related ads from advertisers based outside of Ireland.

"Most organisations here are sensible and we don't have any problems I think with majority in this country".

However, the move will not prevent ads that are funded from overseas if they are placed through organisations located in Ireland.

The decision to ban foreign ads comes after Facebook's April 25 launch of a "view ads" feature for users in Ireland, which "enables Irish Facebook users to see all of the ads any advertiser is running on Facebook in Ireland at the same time".

The tech titan announced the move amid fears outsider organisations and individuals could influence the outcome of the May 25 poll to change the country's constitution.

The new restriction on foreign ads is most likely to affect the anti-abortion side.

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The ban means that individuals and organisations outside of Ireland can not launch ad campaigns aimed at voters.

The Irish Transparent Referendum Initiative has identified several ads paid for by United Kingdom and US-based anti-abortion groups targeting users in Ireland ahead of the referendum.

Facebook will then investigate and assess the ads.

"It's as much as they can do at the moment, but we believe that the Data Commissioner will work closely with them in the future to ensure that Facebook remains independent and doesn't interfere with what's happening in the country", he added.

The firm added that it meant to provide an open platform "for people to express ideas and views on both sides of a debate".

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

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. We also placed educational adverts across Irish press with tips on how to spot false news.

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