Facebook says to curb foreign Ads related to abortion referendum in Ireland

The Facebook social network said on Tuesday that it would not accept foreign ads related to the referendum of abortions that would be held in Ireland on May 25.

The eighth amendment to the Irish constitution recognises the equal right to life of the mother and the unborn.

It prohibits abortion unless the life of a pregnant woman is at risk.

The May 25, referendum would reveal whether the Irish people want to remove the eighth amendment.

“Facebook will no longer be accepting ads related to the forthcoming referendum if they are from advertisers based outside of Ireland,’’ the network said in a statement.

It pointed out that the company was concerned over foreign attempts to influence the outcome of the referendum.

“Concerns have been raised about organisations and individuals based outside of Ireland trying to influence the outcome of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of Ireland by buying ads on Facebook.

“This is an issue we have been thinking about for some time,’’ the statement said.

Facebook said the move was in line with the company’s strategy aimed at increasing transparency during political campaigns.

The move is announced amid the scandal around Facebook and the Cambridge Analytica company, which cooperated with the social network.

In April, media reported that the personal information of about 50 million Facebook users had been harvested without their permission by Cambridge Analytica.

The firm reportedly worked for multiple political campaigns and gathered data from social media accounts to develop a mechanism that would predict and influence the behaviour of voters.

In late March, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologised for the situation with Cambridge Analytica and admitted that he should not have trusted the firm.

In early April, he said that there were several mistakes that had led to the situation, adding that most of the actions needed to prevent this from happening again had already been taken years ago.

(Sputnik/NAN)

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