Facebook bans Eighth Amendment-related ads from advertisers based outside Ireland

Facebook bans Eighth Amendment-related ads from advertisers based outside Ireland

Facebook bans all referendum ads paid for by foreign sources

The social media platform said it will no longer accept advertisements aimed at the upcoming referendum on the Eighth Amendment if they are funded by organisations outside the country. 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".

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

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".

It's not without merit; Facebook has been criticised for its impact on the U.S. presidential election in 2016, and there have been questions raised about it influence over the UK's Brexit vote.

"We feel the spirit of this approach is also consistent with the Irish electoral law that prohibits campaigns from accepting foreign donations", it said.

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 will then investigate and assess the ads. We will also be using machine learning to help us with this effort to identify ads that should no longer be running.

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

As for who is paying for those ads, said Sheridan, "the only people who know that for certain are Facebook themselves". "They were late with Russian interference in the United States election ..."

In April, we hosted an information session for referendum campaign groups on Facebook's advertising and content policies. However, the advocacy groups on both sides of the issue have a direct line to Facebook for this very objective.

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Together For Yes also welcomed the news.

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