Facebook asked an Irish government agency last year whether it should ban pro-life ads from the site ahead of an important election on abortion in Ireland, according to a new report.
In May 2018, LifeNews reported how Facebook stopped running outside ads about abortion a few weeks before the Irish election on its pro-life Eighth Amendment. Most of the ads that Facebook took down appeared to be from pro-life sources.
This week, the Washington Examiner reported new details about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to pull the ads.
The social media billionaire reportedly admitted that he asked an Irish government agency if Facebook should remove them. Zuckerberg made the comments during the Aspen Ideas Festival hosted by the Aspen Institute, the report states.
According to the report:
[Zuckerberg] revealed, possibly for the first time, that during Ireland’s recent referendum on abortion he consulted with Ireland’s government (which supported legalizing abortion) about whether Facebook should block pro-life ads originating outside the tiny island nation. …
“We exist in a society were we value and cherish free expression,” he said.
Zuckerberg also doubled-down on his calls for Congress to regulate social media companies, citing pro-life activists’ posts during the Irish abortion referendum. The Harvard dropout revealed that prior to Facebook’s decision to ban pro-life Americans from advertising about the referendum, he consulted with the Irish government, which ultimately never gave Facebook an answer as to whether it wanted the tech giant to delete the American ads.
Many Irish political leaders pushed to repeal the Eighth Amendment, which protected unborn babies from abortion. They included Taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar and Minister of Health Simon Harris.
Facebook leaders said their decision to remove the ads was based on election laws in Ireland that prohibit political campaigns from accepting money from foreign donors, The Sun reported in 2018. The company said it identified and removed several pro-life ads paid for by people in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Google, which owns YouTube, did the same thing, but pro-life advocates strongly suspected that political bias was the real motivator.
“Google’s decision had an especially severe impact on the pro-life campaign in those crucial weeks leading up to the vote,” Ken Oliver and Morela Scull at Newsbusters responded in 2018.
A new investigation by Project Veritas indicates YouTube also may have been tweaking searches to influence the Irish election in favor of abortion, according to Breitbart.
Here’s more from that report:
The source, a former software engineer at Google, confirmed to Breitbart News that YouTube manually intervened in search results related to the referendum at least one week before the vote in Ireland.
The source said that “120 abortion entries” were added to the search blacklist on May 17, 2018 — seven days before the referendum, which was won by pro-abortion campaigners with a 33 percent victory margin.
The terms “abortion is wrong,” “pro life,” “abortion and the Catholic Church” and “repeal the 8th” were all added to the blacklist on May 17, according to the source.
Irish pro-life advocates worked hard against a biased media, celebrities like Liam Neeson and U2 and huge donations from American billionaire George Soros and others who were intent on pushing Ireland to adopt abortion on demand. Many pro-life efforts were met with hostility and vandalism.
Abortion activists, backed by some of the world’s richest men, succeeded in convincing Irish voters to repeal the Eighth Amendment and allow abortion on demand. After the May vote, parliament quickly rammed through a radical pro-abortion law allowing abortions for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and up to six months in a wide variety of circumstances. It also forces taxpayers to pay for abortions and forces Catholic hospitals to provide them.
Now, pro-life advocates say pro-abortion political leaders are prioritizing spending on abortion over maternity care, and two pregnant women recently died in Irish maternity hospitals.
“The government is taking money away from a vitally important strategy to ensure women do not die in pregnancy – and giving it to funding abortion. There is no clearer way of showing that their priorities do not lie with protecting women, but simply with ending the lives of preborn babies,” Niamh Uí Bhriain of The Life Institute wrote in April.
It is not clear how many unborn babies have died since abortions became legal in January in Ireland.