Google has radically interfered in the conduct of the Referendum to change the Irish Constitution concerning the right to life of the unborn child. How has it done this? It is now not accepting any ads for its youtube channel promoting either side of the issue i.e. pro or anti repeal of the Eight Amendment. Well doesn’t that leave a level playing field, both parties being equally affected? No because of the overwhelming bias of the rest of the media against retaining the Eight. Youtube was an important avenue of communication with undecided voters. Now Google could have done what Facebook did and simply ban only foreign funded ads. This is acceptable and correct. However it seems that the Repeal side were getting worried that sentiment was going against them and lobbied for this total ban. Given that Google has its HQ in Dublin and is the recipient of a very favourable company tax rate a word from the government could be quite effective. It is absolutely plain that if there had been no fear of defeat in the referendum this would not have happened. Here is no mystery Russian bots and Macedonian mischief. To call it sinister implies occult uncertainty or politics of the left hand path. It is rather good old brute force and even normal reliable liberals see it for that.
Colum Kenny Irish Times