Taoiseach welcomes tech giant's decision to ban Eighth Amendment adverts

Google, Facebook and Twitter have announced restrictions on referendum ads

uk, revenue, officers, google, tax, back, ireland

Image: Nick Ansell / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Updated 14:45

The Taoiseach has welcomed the decisions by Facebook and Google to ban advertising relating to the upcoming referendum on the Eighth Amendment.

Google has announced it will ban all adverts relating to the debate - while Facebook said it will no longer accept referendum adverts placed from outside Ireland.

Twitter has also confirmed it is not accepting any referendum advertisements, however it said this is as per its existing policy.

Speaking in the Dáil, Leo Varadkar voiced his support for the moves.

"I think that is a welcome measure on their part," he said.

"I know Google has gone a bit further in not accepting ads altogether to do with the referendum.

"But I think, particularly in Facebook's decision not to accept ads that are paid for from other countries, they have made the right decision in that regard - whether that is a 'Yes' ad or a 'No' ad.

Google

It comes after a spokesperson for Google said: "Following our update around election integrity efforts globally, we have decided to pause all ads related to the Irish referendum on the Eighth Amendment."

The company said this also includes its YouTube video platform.

It is understood enforcement of this policy will begin in the next 24 hours (May 10th), and the pause will be in effect through the referendum.

The company said this is part of its broader efforts around election integrity globally.

While local laws do not prohibit political advertising from foreign entities, it has decided to pause all ads related to the referendum.

On May 4th, the company announced it was rolling out a verification process for election ads in the US and, at the same time, looking at political issue ads and a wider range of elections globally.

Facebook

It follows a similar move by Facebook on Tuesday, which said they were no longer accepting Eighth Amendment adverts placed from outside Ireland.

The social media giant said concerns were raised about organisations and individuals based outside the country trying to influence the outcome of the referendum by buying ads on Facebook.

Facebook explained: "This change will apply to ads we determine to be coming from foreign entities which are attempting to influence the outcome of the vote on May 25th.

"We do not intend to block campaigns and advocacy organisations in Ireland from using service providers outside of Ireland."

Twitter

In a statement to Newstalk.com, social media site Twitter also confirmed it is not accepting any advertisements relating to the upcoming referendum.

It says this is as per its existing policy.

Twitter says it restricts the promotion of health and pharmaceutical products and services.

These restrictions are based on the specific product or service being promoted, as well as the country that the campaign is targeting.

Among products or services subject to this policy are 'abortion clinics' and 'abortion advocacy'.