Mixed reaction from both sides of debate to Google referendum ads ban

Both sides of the abortion debate have given their reaction to Google’s decision to ban all ads on the 8th Amendment referendum.

Pro-choice group, Together for Yes, say the move creates a level playing field but pro-life groups have said it is merely an attempt by those on Yes side to ‘rig the referendum’.

Google said its decision to ban all ads relating to the abortion referendum is part of its global election integrity efforts.

The decision follows Facebook’s move to ban all foreign referendum ads.

The no side has criticised the moves, however, and said it is shutting down the debate.

John McGuirk from the 'Save the 8th' group says it’s an attempt rig the referendum.

"There is a reason Together for Yes are celebrating ... they see this as a massive victory for their side of the referendum because this is not something they put an effort into.

"So who are we accusing of rigging the referendum. Government ministers, Yes campaigners and, fankly, a lot of journalists who have been putting immense pressure on these organisations."

The Together for Yes campaign have dismissed those suggestions, however, and say Google’s decision creates a level playing field between all sides.

Campaign Co-Director Ailbhe Smyth, said: “We welcome confirmation today from Google that they are going to stop running political advertisements over the next 24 hours. This creates a level playing field between all sides, specifically in relation to YouTube and Google searches, who can now seek to convince the Irish electorate by the strength of their argument and power of personal testimony, not by the depth of their pockets.

“We believe this referendum will be won on facts, and now when undecided voters are searching online, they’ll see the most relevant answers to their questions - not the ones that are paid to be put in front of them.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has also welcomed the announcement.

There are now just over two weeks left to the abortion referendum with voters taking to the polls on Friday, May the 25th.

- Digital Desk


Related Articles

Simon Harris to extend abortion service to citizens of North

Law of the land must remain supreme

Court hears musician's only asset a piano as judge rules state entitled to referendum challenge costs

Cost will not be barrier to accessing abortion, ministers agree

More in this Section

Homeless charity calls for place finder services 'all around the country'

Teen arrested after being caught with €50k worth of cocaine

Ulster Unionist councillor set to face motion of no confidence

Fianna Fáil hit out over defence forces pay during Papal visit


Lifestyle

New father’s life ‘changed forever’ after he was run over by surgeon

More From The Irish Examiner