Irish voters will decide on May 25 whether to repeal a constitutional amendment that amounts to a near total ban on abortions, including in cases of rape and incest.
Facebook has moved to block foreign advertisements relating to the upcoming Irish referendum on the Eighth Amendment.
Facebook will no longer be accepting ads related to the forthcoming referendum if they are from advertisers based outside of Ireland.
Facebook explains: "This change will apply to ads we determine to be coming from foreign entities which are attempting to influence the outcome of the vote on May 25th".
"It's an acknowledgment by Facebook that they have a responsibility for their role in the public discussion that's taking place around the Eighth Amendment", he said.
They said, 'Our company approach is to build tools to increase transparency around political advertising so that people know who is paying for the ads they are seeing and to ensure any organisation running a political ad is located in that country'.
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The delay in launching the feature, and the short time left in the campaign, led to criticism of the company. "All their announcements seem created to stave off regulation, and for me it boils down to do we allow them to self-regulate, or do we regulate ourselves". We will then assess and act on those reports.
The firm added that it meant to provide an open platform "for people to express ideas and views on both sides of a debate". We will also be using machine learning to help us with this effort to identify ads that should no longer be running.
The campaigners were pushing for Facebook and other social media companies to ban the practice, saying online and offline regulation should be the same. But the legislation does not cover money spent directly on digital advertising, a loophole that observers say has been exploited by groups overseas wishing to influence the vote.
Dave Evans, known as the Edge, and Adam Clayton of U2 told The Times in an article published Thursday that people should throw their support behind the "yes" vote in the upcoming referendum.
The Green Party has welcomed the move and is now calling on Google to introduce similar restrictions on its YouTube platform. "Yet we have even less information on these advertisements than we do on Facebook ads".