Ireland can agree on this: the abortion decision is not up to Mark Zuckerberg
A lack of regulatory oversight means tech companies could play a significant role in the Irish referendum
Sun 13 May 2018
Irish voters go to the polls on 25 May to decide whether or not to repeal the eighth amendment to our constitution. Inserted in 1983 this clause gives equal constitutional legal protection to the rights of the unborn child and its mother, and makes it almost impossible to legislate for abortion. Polling suggests the proposed repeal will pass. But the decision is one of the most contentious issues Irish voters have ever faced.
As with the many past Irish referendums, the campaign posters for each side – some of them with graphic imagery – went up first. Posters are a strictly regulated part of campaigns under Irish electoral law. TV and radio advertisements are not allowed.
Referendum advertising rules hit strategies for final fortnight
No side claim Facebook and Google announcements are the result of Yes lobbying
May 12, 2018
“We are here in Dublin with ProtectThe8th this morning. Pray for us! #warroomsessions”, said the Facebook posting by Fuzati, conveying something of a mixture of giddy excitement and determination.
The photo below the message showed an unkempt room in a Georgian house, complete with Adams-style fireplace, a fine plaster ceiling and a pair of large, closed double doors leading into another room.
Facebook’s ban on ads reflect nerves of repeal supporters
Polls on abortion broadly unchanged but No side is running effective online campaign
May 9, 2018
The move by Facebook to no longer accept foreign advertisements relating to the upcoming referendum on the Eighth Amendment will come as welcome news to some on the Yes side of the campaign.
There has been rising concern among some pro-repeal groups and supporters that the referendum could be swayed in its decisive weeks towards a No vote by an avalanche of online ads.
The poisonous online campaign to defeat the abortion referendum
Una Mullally: Protect the 8th and Undecided8 are ruthlessly targeting undecided voters
May 6, 2018
An ad kept popping up as I watched YouTube clips the other day, the type of ad you’re forced to sit through before you can play the video you’ve selected. The ad was from Protect the 8th, one of the groups campaigning for a No vote in the abortion referendum, and its slickness was almost out of step with the more sensational messaging the No side has been using. “Don’t be tricked,” it declared.
I ignored it the first time. But then I watched a completely different YouTube video. There the ad was again. It was clear a big, and expensive, online advertising campaign was being rolled out. Around the same time people noticed adverts on Facebook linking to a website called Undecided8, which purported to be an unbiased website for “facts”.
Foreign and 'alt-right' activists target Irish voters on Facebook ahead of abortion referendum
Claire Provost and Lara Whyte
25 April 2018
New data shows how social media has become a battleground in a transatlantic backlash against abortion rights for Irish women.
Under Irish law, foreign citizens and groups are not allowed to make donations to Irish campaign groups. But these rules don't apply to advertising on social media platforms, prompting campaigners to call for an urgent change in the law