Taoiseach's department heading group to examine risk from online ads to elections and referendums

The Taoiseach's department is heading up a group to examine the risk posed by online ads to our democracy.

It follows Google and Facebook's full and partial bans on advertising relating to the abortion referendum.

The Department of the Taoiseach is chairing an Interdepartmental Group on the Security of the Electoral Process.

The Gardaí, Defence Forces and Standards In Public Office are among the bodies involved.

Several Government departments will also examine what measures are needed to prevent outside interference in Irish elections and referendums.

It follows Facebook's banning of abortion campaign ads by foreign groups, and Google's total embargo on ads relating to the referendum.

Adverts are regulated by the ASAI, BAI and the consumer watchdog, but their remits do not cover political advertisements.

A spokesperson for the Communications Minister, Denis Naughten, says the interdepartmental group is already making rapid progress on the issue.

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