Boris Johnson’s party peddled fake Facebook ads to promote Conservative gov’t: report

Sep 14, 2019 | Social Media Marketing | 0 comments


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s party allegedly funded fake Facebook ads that included an altered news headline casting the Conservative Party in a more positive light.

The ad-in-question links to a BBC article criticizing the British government’s method for calculating a cash-infusion to schools.

The ad includes the headline “£14 billion pound cash boost for schools,” but the actual headline reads “School spending: Multi-billion pound cash boost announced.”

The article puts the spending at £7.1 billion — half the amount publicized by the reportedly fake ad.

“Describing this as a £14bn increase would make the government seem more generous than it is in fact being,” BBC statistician Robert Cuffe wrote in the analysis.

The ad has been viewed between 220,000 and 510,000 times since Sept. 2, according to Full Fact, a third-party fact-checking coalition founded by Facebook which discovered the allegedly fraudulent ad.

The social network — famously used as a platform by Russia to peddle politically motivated ads to influence the 2016 US presidential election — said it is investigating.

“We are working to put safeguards in place to ensure publishers have control over the way their headlines appear in advertisements,” a Facebook spokesman told Reuters in response to the allegations.


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