Facebook, the social media giant, announced on Tuesday that they were going to prohibit all ads coming from foreign sources regarding the abortion referendum taking place in Ireland.
Google then took it a step farther and announced that they were banning any and all forms of ads that had to do with Ireland’s abortion law. The company decided that they were not just going to ban ads from foreign countries, but all ads in general. Google has a large presence in Ireland, including roughly 7,000 employees.
YouTube, owned by Google, will also be barring ads from its network.
“Following our update around election integrity efforts globally, we have decided to pause all ads related to the Irish referendum on the Eighth Amendment,” a Google spokesperson stated.
The ban has been implemented and will be in place until the campaign around the referendum ends on May 26.
Google has stated that they are paying close attention to how election ads affect voters, specifically in the United States. They added that they will be introducing a new process of verification for election ads, because of the scrutiny.
Recently, the Times, a UK paper, exposed various United States organizations that were targeting Irish voters in an effort to determine their political views. They found that the organizations sent out quizzes that would then collect data of their views on specific issues, including abortion.
There has been both support and criticism over Google’s decision to ban the political ads.
David Quinn, head of the Iona Institute, an advocacy group that supports the retention of the 8th amendment, is among the critics.
“It is an outrageous and disproportionate decision to simply ban all referendum ads,” Quinn stated. “This very important platform has been denied to us; it should not comfort Google that it is to the delight of the yes side and to the disgust of us on the no side.”
Regardless of the beliefs of those within the country, Google has set the ban in place and it will be active until May 26.