Sinn Féin Senator Fintan Warfield has welcomed the announcement today that Facebook will ban all paid advertising from outside the State during the ongoing referendum campaign.

Senator Warfield said:

“The move by Facebook today follows revelations that substantial amounts of money are being directed into adverts targeting voters in the referendum. Such advertisements   purport to be fact-based, objective websites, however, such advertisements favour the ‘no’ side of the referendum campaign.

“Last week in an unprecedented move, Facebook reached out to the government in relation to fake news during a public vote. 

“This move is ultimately welcome. However, Facebook are taking the initiative, in the absence of any robust regulation or legislation for online campaigning, and in the absence of adequate resources for SIPO to carry out this regulation.

“This should act as a call to action for both Google and by extension YouTube, and more importantly, this State.

“We are now in a space where a private entity has now done more to stem the spread of misinformation during a public vote, than the State itself.”