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Efforts of Google And Facebook to Tackle Dark Ads on Ireland’s Referendum Not Successful

Yet screenshots sent to TRI from voters in Ireland after that announcement showed ads continuing to appear on Google's platform.

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Tweeters unable to automatically save tweets to facebook. Pixabay
Tweeters unable to automatically save tweets to facebook. Pixabay

Attempts by Facebook and Google to tackle “dark ads” and foreign interference in the run-up to Ireland’s referendum on abortion have not been entirely successful, data from a transparency group seen by CNN has shown.

Ireland’s abortion laws — some of the most restrictive in the developed world — are enshrined in the eighth amendment to the country’s constitution, which places an unborn child’s right to life on equal footing with that of the mother.

On May 25, Ireland will vote to repeal or retain the amendment.

The Transparent Referendum Initiative (TRI), a volunteer organisation set up to monitor social-media posts about the referendum has collected ads from 180 Facebook groups targeting the Irish voters.

Facebook announced it would ban all ads from foreign groups on May 8, and said: “We understand the sensitivity of this campaign and will be working hard to ensure neutrality at all stages.

“We are an open platform for people to express ideas and views on both sides of a debate. Our goal is simple: to help ensure a free, fair and transparent vote on this important issue.”

Attempts by Facebook and Google to tackle "dark ads" and foreign interference in the run-up to Ireland's referendum on abortion have not been entirely successful, data from a transparency group seen by CNN has shown.
Google an Facebook are fighting dark ads relating to Ireland’s Referendum. IANS

But the TRI data shows that out of around 200 new ads related to the vote since that announcement, at least 31 per cent have been administered at least in part by page managers outside Ireland, CNN reported.

Google also announced it would not accept any political ads on any side of the campaign last week. “Following our update around election integrity efforts globally, we have decided to pause all ads related to the Irish referendum on the Eighth Amendment,” a statement read.

Yet screenshots sent to TRI from voters in Ireland after that announcement showed ads continuing to appear on Google’s platform.

One week after Google said it would “pause all ads related to the Irish referendum on the Eighth Amendment”, some ads were still appearing in those searches.

 

Google said they had “taken action” after being showed this ad.

Irish law bans foreign citizens and groups from making donations to campaign groups and prohibits political ads on television or radio broadcasts during campaigns, CNN said.

The ad bans do not extend online or on social, meaning anyone is open to buying an ad on platforms like Facebook or Google. (IANS)

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Google Announces an Investment of $600 mn to Expand US Data Centre

To boost computer science education in the US, Google also announced on Thursday a $6 million grant to support 4-H, the largest youth development organisation in the US

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FILE - A woman walks past the logo for Google at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2018. VOA

As part of its plan to invest $13 billion in building new data centres and offices in over a dozen states in the US this year, Google has announced a fresh investment of $600 million to expand its data centre in Pryor, a city in Oklahoma.

The Pryor site is an important part of the company’s global network of data centers, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said on Thursday.

This network is what powers Google searches, email, all of the photos they store and treasure, and the maps that help people find their way home.

This new investment takes Google’s total investment in Oklahoma to over $3 billion.

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

“Pryor is already home to one of Google’s largest data centers in the country. I am pleased to announce that we will be investing another $600 million to expand the data center here and create an additional 100 jobs for the Pryor community,” Pichai said.

“It’s part of our $13 billion investment in expanding our data centers across the US This week we also announced new investments in Michigan, and we’re breaking ground on a new data center in Texas,” he wrote in a blog post.

Also Read- Instagram Suffers a Major Outage with Users Around The World

To boost computer science education in the US, Google also announced on Thursday a $6 million grant to support 4-H, the largest youth development organisation in the US.

“This is our largest ever computer science education grant from Google.org. It will help ensure that young people in Oklahoma and 25 other states have access to the curriculum, training, and devices to learn and grow their coding skills,” Pichai said. (IANS)