Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

Today, Irish voters are going to the polls to decide whether to repeal a constitutional amendment that protects unborn life in the womb. But advocates on either side of the issue won't be able to use Facebook or Google to get out their message. The tech giants banned all ads targeting voters.  A Google spokesperson said, “Our goal is simple: to help ensure a free, fair, and transparent vote on this important issue.” Observers say the move might be due to the Facebook security breech that involved Cambridge Analytica which targeted conservative voters here in 2016. But the danger is that if these digital giants can restrict political ads overseas, they can certainly do it here. And if that happens they'll be taking away important public platforms from the political process that are important to the free exchange of ideas.