May 9, 2018 / 1:30 PM / 17 days ago

Google to ban all ads related to Irish abortion referendum

DUBLIN, May 9 (Reuters) - Google is to suspend all advertisements related to Ireland’s May 25 abortion referendum from Thursday amid worries about election integrity, the U.S. firm said in an emailed statement.

The policy change comes a day after a similar move by Facebook, which said it would no longer accept ads from outside the country that seek to influence the referendum.

Google has gone one step further and will not accept any ads related to the May 25 referendum, not just advertisements from groups or individuals seeking to sway the vote.

“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 said on Wednesday.

The policy change is in effect across Google and YouTube ads, and will remain in place until after the referendum.

Ireland’s referendum on whether to liberalise its abortion laws will give voters the first opportunity in 35 years to repeal a constitutional amendment that has long divided the once deeply Catholic nation.

Reporting by Graham Fahy Editing by Catherine Evans

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