Facebook bans ads on Ireland's abortion referendum by foreign advertisers

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Facebook will no longer accept ads from groups outside of Ireland related to the upcoming abortion referendum, the social network announced Tuesday.

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.

Irish Christians-including the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) as well as the Catholic Church-have sought to counter the campaign by reminding their members of the inherent dignity of the human person from conception to natural death.

Previously, Facebook launched a "view ads" feature in Ireland on 25 April, enabling users to see every ad that any advertiser is running on the platform in Ireland at the same time.

Facebook is banning foreign advertisements relating to Ireland's abortion referendum amid fears United States groups are trying to influence the result. However, the advocacy groups on both sides of the issue have a direct line to Facebook for this very objective. The company also said it would use artificial-intelligence technology to spot potentially problematic material.

The company will soon start requiring political advertisers to be residents in the country where the election is taking place. However, foreigners were until Tuesday able to purchase Facebook ads directly targeting Irish voters.

Given that the 20-16 election, the face-book has generated numerous policy modifications to deal with concerns over the part it plays in politics and elections across the globe.

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On Sunday, many youngsters at polling stations said they hoped the election would mark the dawn of a new political era. This year's vote was according to a new election law providing for proportional representation for the first time.


The referendum ads change comes following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

In addition, Facebook is planning to introduce a searchable database to show how much an advertiser is spending, and the demographic details of the audience that a group is trying to reach.

Feeney said that proper laws and regulations were needed in the area of social media advertising and publishing. Ireland is the first country where Facebook has implemented the rule. "It's not just about Facebook".

The May 25 referendum will decide whether abortion should be legalized in Ireland.

Facebook was responding to criticism that unaccountable foreign advertising is gaining traction in the referendum campaign.

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

Nor is it clear what proportion of the total amount spent on Facebook ads is made up of foreign-sourced ads of the type that are now banned by the social-media company.

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