‘No’ campaign shocked at Google ban on abortion referendum advertising

‘They’re worried we might win, so they’re trying to silence us.’

Sligo News File.

Google has banned all 8th Amendment referendum advertisements on its platform.

The internet giant has reportedly claimed the decision has been taken amid concerns about the integrity of this month’s referendum.

However, the move has been challenged by Save The 8th, Pro Life Campaign and The Iona Institute, all of them Irish-based organisations.

In a joint statement, the three bodies have said the action is not about ‘concerns about the integrity of elections.’

It is, they state, about concerns that the ‘No’ side might win.

The statement says:

“It is very clear that the government, much of the establishment media, and corporate Ireland have determined that anything to secure a Yes vote must be done.

“In this case, it means preventing campaigns that have done nothing illegal from campaigning in a perfectly legal manner.

“This decision has been taken because one side in this referendum is afraid it is losing, and wants to prevent voters from being informed.

“This campaign has been marked by attacks on every form of legitimate campaigning the NO side has taken part in, and a complete absence of scrutiny for the YES side.

“Despite all of that, the polls have narrowed, and clearly there is fear in establishment Ireland that this referendum will be defeated. That explains the massive pressure exerted on Google, Facebook, and other platforms to deny advertising space to the NO campaign.

“It is scandalous, and it is an attempt to rig the referendum.

“Online was the only platform available to the NO campaign to speak to voters directly. That platform is now being undermined in order to prevent the public from hearing the message of one side.

“This is completely unacceptable, and it brings the conduct of what had, heretofore, been a civil campaign into severe dispute.”

The statement also claims that “in this referendum, Amnesty and the IFPA have received over €400,000 in foreign donations. When asked to return an illegal foreign donation, Amnesty refused, and yet Minister Harris is content to campaign alongside an organisation that has broken the law.”