Google blocks all online ads related to Eighth Amendment referendum

Image Shutterstock

Image Shutterstock

However, Google said all ads relating to the vote would be blocked.

Facebook's move is likely to be directly related to this fear: and a fear that if the referendum were defeated, the company would face questions about its role in influencing votes, as it has in the United States and UK.

Anti-abortion group Save The 8th said in a statement: "Its scandalous, and it is an attempt to rig the referendum".

Pro-choice campaigners have welcomed the move, saying that it will "create a level playing field".

Google will begin enforcing the measure, which will apply to all its platforms including the phenomenally popular YouTube video channel, on Thursday and continue until the May 25 ballot, according to the spokesman.

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"We're suddenly being told that we will no longer be allowed to speak to voters on our channels, and we think that is outrageous", McGuirk said.

Elsewhere, most of the country's biggest media publishers appear not to have banned digital ads that are related to the referendum.

However this US -first focus leaves other regions vulnerable to election fiddlers - hence Google deciding to suspend ad buys around the Irish vote, albeit tardily.

The "pause" will include adverts on YouTube and Google AdWords and will take effect within 24 hours, but it will not affect Google search results.

Concerns have been raised in recent times about the unregulated nature of online advertising, with the No side having recently been questioned in regards to the validity of their posters. That platform is now being undermined, in order to prevent the public from hearing the message of one side.

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On Tuesday Facebook had announced that it would root out and prevent any foreign ads concerning the May 25 vote from running in Ireland.

Online targeting in the context of the upcoming vote was also a concern that was highlighted.

The move comes as part of efforts to improve "election integrity" in the run-up to the Eighth Amendment poll.

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