FACEBOOK has banned ads regarding Ireland's upcoming abortion referendum that are produced by foreign advertisers.
The social media giant said organisations outside of Ireland had been buying ads to influence the outcome of the vote.
In a statement issued today, Facebook said: ""Concerns have been raised about organisations and individuals based outside of Ireland trying to influence the outcome of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of Ireland by buying ads on Facebook.
"Today, as part of our efforts to help protect the integrity of elections and referendums from undue influence, we will begin rejecting ads related to the referendum if they are being run by advertisers based outside of Ireland".
The company added that Irish campaigners will be exempted from the ban.
Facebook is to begin rejecting 8th referendum ads from foreign organisations. From now on advertisers will have to prove residency here in Ireland or else won’t be able to post ads seeking to influence the outcome of the vote.
— Will Goodbody (@willgoodbody) May 8, 2018
"This change will apply to ads we determine to be coming from foreign entities which are attempting to influence the outcome of the vote on May 25," it said.
"We do not intend to block campaigns and advocacy organisations in Ireland from using service providers outside of Ireland.
"We have also built relationships with political parties, groups representing both sides of the campaign and with the Transparent Referendum Initiative, who we are asking to notify us if they have concerns about ad campaigns."
Facebook explained that the move was designed to protect the integrity of elections and referendums from "undue influence".
It added: "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."