Facebook banned pro-life ads ahead of an important abortion vote in Ireland last year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted this summer.
The Irish Post published new details about Zuckerberg’s admission this week after LifeNews and other conservative news outlets reported on his comments in June. Last May, Ireland voted to repeal its Eighth Amendment, which protected unborn babies’ right to life.
“In Ireland in the last year there was a referendum on abortion,” Zuckerberg said during the Aspen Ideas Festival in June in Colorado.
“During that election leading up to that referendum, a bunch of pro-life American groups advertised … to try and influence public opinion there,” he continued.
“We went to the Irish and asked folks there: ‘Well how do you want us to handle this? You have no laws on the books that are relevant for whether we should be allowing this kind of speech in your election, and really, this doesn’t feel like the kind of thing a private company should be making a decision on.’
“And their response at the time was: ‘We don’t currently have a law, so you need to make whatever decision you want to make,’” Zuckerberg said. “We ended up not allowing the ads.”
Earlier this month, the Washington Examiner reported on Zuckerberg’s comments, noting that the people who he consulted about the issue were Ireland’s pro-abortion political leaders.
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FB CEO @MarkZuckerburg blocked pro-life ads ahead of Ireland’s abortion vote
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— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) July 8, 2019
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.
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, which is owned by Google, 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 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, which protected unborn babies’ right to life. 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.