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Google Ban on referendum advertising welcomed but legislation needed - Lynn Boylan MEP

9 May, 2018 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin's Lynn Boylan MEP has re-iterated her call for robust legislation regarding online advertising in referendums.

The Dublin MEP said that Facebook should implement this more extensive ban from Google to ban advertisements from Ireland for the final weeks of the campaign.
Speaking following the announcement from Google, Ms. Boylan said:
“I welcome this ban which has come about as Google update their worldwide election integrity efforts, but in the long term self-regulation will not work.

"We need to take our democratic process out of the hands of internet giants. 
“Google are also banning advertising from Ireland and Facebook should follow given the amount of money which could be spent on adverts.

"Most worryingly, we have no way to ascertain what these figures actually are.
“I am calling on the Irish Government to enact robust legislation and reform the electoral act to prevent the problem reoccurring.

"The Government must take the initiative to regulate this kind of advertising opposed to the self-regulatory models which have come to the fore over the last two days.
“Our electoral law forbids campaign groups from receiving funding from outside the state but this does not apply to social media and internet companies.

"Robust legislation is the only solution on this threat to our democracy from both inside and outside of Ireland.”

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