back to article How the Facebook money funnel is shaping British elections

Britons vote for a new government on June 8 and, until recently, election campaigns have been tightly controlled affairs with limits on how much parties can spend per constituency, the requirement to submit detailed accounts and no political advertising on television. But the rules don't cover online advertising – allowing …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge
    Trollface

    I did think it was unusual that I was shown an advert by the Conservatives on YouTube, as I'm not (and have no intention to be) a Tory voter.

    I did my little bit for the election. I let it play for 7 seconds and then skipped the ad. I think the advert was for 30 seconds, but skipping the advert on the 7th second meant that the Tories would be charged for the whole 30 seconds. If I skipped right on the 5th second, they wouldn't have been charged anything.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you work in IT - especially as a contractor - then you simply can't afford to vote Labour.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I work in IT, and I can afford to vote for Jeremy Corbyn. And I don't watch another five years of watching the weak being degraded by the Conservatives.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I work in IT, and I can afford to vote for Jeremy Corbyn.

          Exhibit 1: Watch a turkey voting for Christmas.

          1. robin thakur 1

            Exactly. Corbyn will raise Corporation Tax at a time that IT contractors are already being being hit by vanishing dividend relief, company pensions, NI rises, IR35 obstacles and a myriad other issues. The Tories are too socialist in the way they have dealt with small business so far, the only sweetener being the rise in the personal tax allowance. However, they are the only sensible choice when faced with the alternative.

            Under Labour, as we've already seen under Sadique Khant , the fool wants to get rid of private contractors working for the public sector in London (not that this has been a success, it just means that everybody has to become G Cloud registered or go through the big consulting companies, thus doubling or tripling the cost to the public sector), and Jezza would follow through on this nationwide. I can see tax being deducted at source for private and public sector contractors under Labour to ensure their coffers are full to afford their giveaways like tuition fees, Railway nationalisation, the NHS, and the rest of their Santa's bucket list manifesto.

            In other words, it would be a good time to liquidate (no tax for you Jeremy, sorry love) and get out of the UK to sunnier pastures less hostile, because the nice thing about IT is that you can work anywhere in the world.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Rock and a hard place...

        If you work in IT - especially as a contractor - then you simply can't afford to vote Labour.

        If you work in IT - contractor or employee - then you would simply be daft to vote Conservative.

        I could go on: UKIP, Greens, LibDem, SNP etc. basically, this is one of those elections where the majority of UK taxpayers will be stuffed for at least the next few years regardless of who wins...

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Rock and a hard place...

          Makes no difference who you vote for, the Civil Service runs the country, not the party we vote in.

          Not even the civil service. The country is its people and the prosperity of the nation is shaped by the general attitude and approach of its population.

          Vote tory liars and the weak suffer.

          Vote labour liars and the economy goes like Greece (but without the sunshine) and ultimately the weak suffer anyway.

          The wealthy will use their money to look after themselves regardless. If the weak are to be helped then it is us that need to step up for them. Voting and sitting back and hoping a government does all the work never succeeds.

      3. Eponymous Cowherd
        FAIL

        If you work in IT you might be a tiny bit better off with a Tory government.

        I work in IT.

        My wife is a midwife. My daughter is a medical student.

        I shall be voting Labour.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          If you work in IT you might be a tiny bit better off with a Tory government.

          So our taxes help pay for your wife's and daughter's career and training, whilst you run yourself in a 'tax efficient' manner. Do you not see the irony here? Should we just leave bundles of fivers outside your front door to save on the logistics? Well, vote Labour if it makes you feel better - if they win, we'll be getting our very own Trump.

      4. wolfetone Silver badge

        "If you work in IT - especially as a contractor - then you simply can't afford to vote Labour."

        That may be the case, but on the other hand, I'm not posh. I don't like fox hunting. I don't hunt. I don't have a double barrelled surname. I'm not English nor are my parents English. I don't live in a leafy part of the country. I don't have savings. I don't earn more than £50,000 per year. I don't speak the Queen's English. I don't drive a Jaguar, Mercedes, or A.N. Other luxury vehicle. I don't agree with people having to pay for university when those who went before us got it for free. I don't agree with paying to see doctor. I don't agree with paying for healthcare, nor should anyone have to pay for it (through taxation is fine like it is at the moment). I don't agree that Brexit means Brexit and that no deal is better than a bad deal. I don't agree that we should have paid over £10,000,000 to give Maggie Thatcher a state funeral. I don't agree that our trains, infrastructure etc should be privatised funding foreign companies who conduct their business in their own homeland in a nationalised rail system.

        So, because of all that, why would the Conservatives want me to vote for them? Because I'm not one of them.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          That may be the case, but on the other hand, I'm not posh...

          Those without money always find it easy to give away other peoples.

          Corbyn would be an unmitigated disaster. Odd how people get so riled about Trump yet are utterly blasé about the fate of their own country.

          1. wolfetone Silver badge

            "Those without money always find it easy to give away other peoples."

            And those with money always find it easy to get out of paying for stuff they're required to pay for. You know, like taxes for example?

            "Corbyn would be an unmitigated disaster. Odd how people get so riled about Trump yet are utterly blasé about the fate of their own country."

            Yes he would be a disaster. For those who have shares in Ariva, EDF, the big six energy companies, those with money invested in "bloodstocks" which have been hit by the fox hunting ban, those who trade in ivory (plenty of those people in the UK still!), private landlords, property developers who specialise in "luxury" apartments that can only exist by kicking out families from council houses in Barnet and have them relocated to Newcastle.

            But for those who haven't a pot to piss in, who rely on the NHS to help keep them alive while they fight cancer, for those children who were born in to a family who don't give a shit about them, Corbyn is the only answer they have.

            Because the majority of the country who are stuck in dead end jobs working in Sainsbury's, struggling to pay the rent that gets increased by landlords who don't give a shit about the property, you know ordinary Joe Soap - not to mention the people of Scotland who were promised the world to stay part of the UK and have got sod all back for it - have been betrayed by the Conservatives. They have been lied to. They have been swindled. All while they keep their friends who donate big sums of money to keep their position in check wank themselves off at the misery we're all facing while they're on a yacht in Monaco.

            Yeah, Corbyn's a massive disaster.

      5. bobblestiltskin

        If you are a human being, you can not afford to not vote Labour.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      "I did think it was unusual that I was shown an advert by the Conservatives on YouTube, as I'm not (and have no intention to be) a Tory voter."

      Do you live in a marginal constituency? If so, you are the only kind of voter worth targetting and you should expect most of the campaign spend from all parties to be aimed at you. If not, then all the talk about targeted advertising has just been proven bogus once again. You don't matter and no-one should be spending so much as a penny on you..

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "skipping the advert on the 7th second meant that the Tories would be charged for the whole 30 seconds. If I skipped right on the 5th second, they wouldn't have been charged anything."

      I didn't know that. Thanks. I'm sure I bear to not watch for 7 seconds instead of 4 seconds if it helps :-)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm just going to leave this here,

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMI2tIGi1Iw

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Makes no difference who you vote for, the Civil Service runs the country, not the party we vote in. Always have and they always will. Sir Humphrey is in charge kiddies, so vote for whomever you wish, it makes no difference!

      1. AfternoonTea

        Yeah, but our budgets change.

      2. tojb
        Facepalm

        IT MATTERS

        It really winds me up when people say that some shadowy force (corporations, civil service, illuminati blah blah) runs the country so why bother voting. An MP in charge of a parliamentary select committee or sitting in the cabinet or at #10 can have a huge effect on outcomes for the country and the world. We didn't have to fight the Iraq war, we didn't have to bail out the banks in 2008. Those were political decisions that could have gone very differently, and did so in other countries with different politicians warming the benches.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: IT MATTERS

          "political decisions that could have gone very differently, and did so in other countries with different politicians warming the benches."

          Close, but no cigar... yet. How about

          "...did so in other countries where Big Money (the City, the arms industry, etc) isn't pulling the strings."

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not using Facebook and running adblockers has its advantages then, I can read polices and manifestos as I please without them being shoved in my face in every online space...

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      If the last half-century is anything to go by, you're wasting your time reading a manifesto. A manifesto promise is apparently a reason to force the House of Lords to withdraw their opposition to something, but not a reason to force the elected government to do it. And if you want a guide to policies, you are better off looking at a party's historic policy positions, since that's what their "current" policy will probably revert to if elected.

      In short, there is nothing that happens during the actual campaign that voters should pay attention to. They should have been paying attention all their adult lives and anything that has suddenly changed in the last four weeks can just as easily suddenly change back again.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I can read polices and manifestos as I please

      "I can read polices and manifestos as I please without them being shoved in my face in every online space..."

      In principle yes you can, though given that many politicians don't care about what's in the manifesto vs what's enacted afterwards, and the "justice system" certainly doesn't care, is there much point?

      For people who think there is a point, for people who'd rather vote for policies than for personalities and Parties, have a look at

      https://voteforpolicies.org.uk/

      Now updated for 2017 manifestos, offers de-branded policy descriptions so you pick which ones you prefer, without knowing which party is offering them. At the end, it reveals which party's policies you have chosen.

      Have a lot of fun.

      [There was some PFY on the BBC a few days ago asking why there wasn't an app that could suggest who he should vote for based on his own personal preferences. This is what he was asking for.]

      1. Chrism03

        Re: I can read polices and manifestos as I please

        https://voteforpolicies.org.uk/

        Should be required reading

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I can read polices and manifestos as I please

          "https://voteforpolicies.org.uk/

          Should be required reading"

          Agreed. And BE QUICK ABOUT IT.

          Though wouldn't it be even better if a manifesto implied some kind of real world commitment, as people would rightly expect with any normal commercial agreement (e.g. pension triple lock? student tuition fees? education education education?)?

          In what other careers can people promise to do one thing before being appointed and then immediately do the direct opposite on taking power, and still get away with it Scot free, with a nice handy pension to boot even if they get sacked, and nobody is allowed to question it because... well, just because Daddy says so, apparently. (Yes I know, senior members of many corporate Boards of Directors do it too, and it shouldn't be allowed for them either, unless we can all have that opportunity).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If ad slinging

    To farcebook normies slows down the flow of dickheads with pamphlets showing up at my door, im all for it.

    Tell me the truth, give me the numbers, be honest about your motives. Thats all I ask of politicians.

    You can flog all the wind and piss you like outside of that as I can simply ignore it.

    1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: If ad slinging

      "Tell me the truth, give me the numbers, be honest about your motives. That's all I ask of politicians."

      Bless

    2. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: If ad slinging

      Are you suggesting Facebook ads are better than the age-old British interaction between candidates and innocent voters? Yes, you can switch off a Facebook ad but you can't get that warm glow you get after calling it a self-serving, hypocritical, mealy-mouthed, good-for-nothing drain on the taxpayer.

      Mind you, where I am, I haven't had so much as a leaflet to pick up, sigh over, tear into small shreds and dispatch to the recycling bin. The election seems to be happening somewhere else entirely.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: If ad slinging

        Are you suggesting Facebook ads are better than the age-old British interaction between candidates and innocent voters?

        Agreed, it's quite satisfying to be able to tell them to take their lies somewhere else face to face.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Doorstepping for votes

      Things must be bad. Even the Labor party hasn't been around looking for votes.

      The did send a leaflet via Royal Mail but it was franked mail and not a bulk delivery.

      where are all those millions of new members JC brags about? Can't they get them mobilised? It would be nice to see some fresh cannon fodder on the stump.

    4. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: If ad slinging

      Tell me the truth, give me the numbers, be honest about your motives. Thats all I ask of politicians.

      You want a pony to go with that?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And those of us...

    who eschew all that Socia Media [redacted] can get on with our lives knowing that another form of advertising is passing us by. Bliss.

    Yours,

    Grumpy old Git {who has already voted}

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And those of us...

      Too right.. I will never knowingly be grist for *uckerberg's mill. Without Arsebook users as a product to pimp to the highest bidder, the gimp would have to work for a living

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: And those of us...

        the gimp would have to work for a living

        Zed: "Bring out the gimp."

        Maynard: "But the gimp's sleepin'."

        Zed: "Well, I guess you're gonna have to go wake him up now, ain't you?"

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: And those of us...

      I was hoping for a "lets be smug we don't use facebook" thread, and here it is.

      I'm feeling smug because I don't have a facebook account, and my adblocker is making sure I don't see political spam anywhere else.

  5. 27escape

    Not not going to get any easier

    If a third party that has an interest in getting a particular political party into office then they too can do advertising, this may not need to be tracked as gifts and payments to the party, so potential for lots of abuse of the system - as the Observer/Guardian article shows happened with Brexit targeted adverts. Not sure how this can be avoided or made illegal, we are all entitled to our voice, if I happen to have more money than someone else then I can force my voice to be heard in more places and more loudly.

    Don't forget this is not just FB and twitter, all those tracking fake news articles that get linked from almost all websites as well as the news companies themselves are included by this type of activity, even having ad blockers and such like makes it difficult to get away from it.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Not not going to get any easier

      "Not sure how this can be avoided or made illegal, we are all entitled to our voice, if I happen to have more money than someone else then I can force my voice to be heard in more places and more loudly."

      You could impose restrictions on freedom of speech during an election campaign, much like we currently have restrictions on discussing court cases whilst they are running.

      It wouldn't help with foreigners sticking their noses in, of course, but we'd probably pay less attention to election ads if they were all, as a matter of law, a case of some foreigner trying to game our election.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you use facebook...

    you're too stupid to vote. Any idea how we can enforce this?

    1. caffeine addict Silver badge

      Re: If you use facebook...

      I hate facebook as much as the next smug git, but any "[group] is too stupid to vote" pisses me off.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If you use facebook...

        Be pissed off.

        Democracy is a façade which legitimises oligarchical rule. Misinformed, irrational voters with only herd conscience are easily tricked into internalising the values of the ruling class, against their own interests. They deliver us all into exploitation.

        1. caffeine addict Silver badge

          Re: If you use facebook...

          So, we should just ignore the uninformed public and allow a self selecting cabal to choose our govt for us?

          It's a plan that has advantages, but it also involves changing our nation's name to the People's Democratic Republic of Great Britain and Northern Island.

          1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

            Re: If you use facebook...

            "So, we should just ignore the uninformed public and allow a self selecting cabal to choose our govt for us?"

            You chose the wrong example. It worked for the Venetian Republic for about 700 years, during a lot of which time she was a major world power.

            Athenian democracy lasted only about 50 years, but that was a big oligarchy - of those rich enough to be able to afford hoplite service. In modern terms, that's sufficient disposable income to be able to afford a light tank.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: If you use facebook...

              Democracy is a noble idea and said to be the best system of all the ones that have been tried.

              Or it would be if people could be trusted to operate it properly. All elections I've seen have been lies based, and say and do whatever it takes to get votes and worry about the excuses later.

              The people that make the difference in election are the gullible and the thick who believe all this manifesto BS, and personality salience charm and spin.

              It would be good if politicians could be held to account as to what they put in their manifesto and what turns out to be lies should be taken as criminal actions in the same way as a perjurer is criminal.

              1. Suburban Inmate
                Big Brother

                It's not that Democracy is a bad system

                It's more that it has been overpowered by 'free market' extremists and to hell with the little people and basic common sense. We've been reduced to little more than cattle in service of The Sacred Engine.

                Little surprise then that a leader who (for all his faults) wants to improve our lot has suffered an unceasing barrage of establishment screeching and shit-flinging.

              2. caffeine addict Silver badge

                Re: If you use facebook...

                The majority of my social media circle are Labour Remainers. It's been particularly amusing/depressing watching the same people who complained about lies and misrepresentations in the Brexit campaign now blindly reposting anything pro-Labour or anti-Tory without doing even the most basic fact checks. When called on it the reply seems to be "it doesn't matter if it's 100% accurate as long as it gets the desired result".

                I've given up on all social media for the last month solely to protect my blood pressure.

                1. robin thakur 1

                  Re: If you use facebook...

                  But, it is SOO amusing to watch their pained howling all over Facebook after Trump won, Brexit and under the last Tory victory. It's worth voting Tory again just to watch them go into full on "It's rigged"/"I can't believe that my Facebook echo chamber doesn't reflect everybody"/"Everybody I know voted Labour"/"Why are stupid people allowed to vote"/"Why are people remembering beyond the last 3 weeks of Jeremey Corbyn's leadership?" mode.

                  When Labour win, the rich threaten to (and often do) leave the country. When the Conservatives win, Labour supporters go out and smash stuff. Imagine what Momentum's thugs will get up to? They're already making lists of all the houses with Conservative signs in the window to burgle and attack them, so in a way it's good that we will see their true faces with their beady eyes when the Tories win next Saturday.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: self selected cabal

            "So, we should just ignore the uninformed public and allow a self selecting cabal to choose our govt for us?"

            A self selected cabal is already governing the UK (England in particular). It is in the interests of that cabal that the public remain uninformed. Actually, misinformed would be a better word.

            Exhibit 1: any hardcopy Daily Mail. Sun, Times, Telegraph, or Express will do just as well.

            Exhibit 2: the former Manchester Guardian and the former Scott Trust.

            Additionally, readers may or may not have noticed in the last few days that various UK charities who may or may not have valid points to make aren't getting the opportunity to speak, because (they say) they have been gagged by recent anti-lobbying laws. Just as was predicted when the laws were going through Parliament.

            Q: What do you think of western democracy?

            A: I think it would be a good idea.

            (OK, it's not quite what was said, but it's good enough for government work)

    2. Brian 18
      FAIL

      Re: If you use facebook...

      "you're too stupid to vote. Any idea how we can enforce this?"

      Run fake election voting as a facebook opinion poll*. Anyone that "votes" there instead of actually voting self selects out of the election. From what little I know about facebook, it should be quick and trivial to set up. It won't get all facebook users, just the dumb ones.

      As for the article topic. I hope Brittan gets this under control soon. If you want to see your future with virtually unregulated political advertising, just look at the U.S. elections**.

      * I am not a facebook user, I found out about opinion polls from a quick search of "voting in facebook".

      ** I am a U.S. citizen that is disgusted by attack ads and blatant falsehoods in TV political advertising here.

    3. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: If you use facebook...

      Well, on this side of the pond we had Hillary supporters who seriously thought you could vote through Twitter.

  7. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Does the Electoral Commiss know how much the Russians spent on advertising on Facebook?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      5 kopeks per soul.

    2. harmjschoonhoven

      Does the Electoral Commiss know how much the Russians Mercer spent on advertising on Facebook?

      "It has emerged that Robert Mercer, a hedge-fund billionaire, who helped to finance the Trump campaign and who was revealed this weekend as one of the owners of the rightwing Breitbart News Network, is a long-time friend of Nigel Farage. He directed his data analytics firm to provide expert advice to the Leave campaign on how to target swing voters via Facebook - a donation of services that was not declared to the electoral commission." https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/26/us-billionaire-mercer-helped-back-brexit http://www.france24.com/en/20170228-usa-mysterious-billionaire-robert-mercer-played-crucial-role-trump-brexit-victories

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        another guardian article

        Makes for pretty chilling reading:

        https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/07/the-great-british-brexit-robbery-hijacked-democracy

        I notice that any article that mentions Cambridge Analytica over at the Graun has a new note at the top stating:

        This article is the subject of separate legal complaints on behalf of Cambridge Analytica LLC [and SCL Elections Limited, and Sophie Schmidt.]

        (the "and" bit might vary across articles, but you get the gist)

        While spending over campaign limits because Facebook and so on aren't covered by regulations is one thing, the use of targeted ads that use bulk, aggregated data about individuals is what's really scary. The fact that this also seems to be done outside the EU, and so isn't subject to privacy laws should be giving everyone cause for concern.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Of course, what you won't find in Al Grauniad is anything on how much George Soros & all the organisations funded by his Open Society Foundations (in order to obfuscate where the money comes from) spent to fund Hillary and the Remoaner side of politics. But they are left wing, so they get a pass don't they?

      3. robin thakur 1

        It's lobbying, not mind control, love. Most people I know weren't influenced by such shadowy tactics, and made up their minds long before the campaign started. Could it be that they simply were not as enamoured as our rulers with the EU paradise we live in?

  8. Mage Silver badge
    Devil

    Malicious Manipulating Megacorps.

    Online Video and text should be covered by SAME rules as TV broadcasting and printed papers. It's mental they think it's not. It's only a delivery mechanism. Arguably a more dangerous one, as everyone gets the SAME thing on broadcasts and printed media. How do we even know that <party> is even making the same promises or pitch to everyone? Any online campaign MUST by law be the same for every internet user or it's a lie.

    It's Google 3rd party funded orgs and lies that have got Governments in the West to treat online differently.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Malicious Manipulating Megacorps.

      If I understand it correctly, the rules about neutrality that apply to broadcast media (TV/Radio) are different to those that apply to print media. Which is why the Sun/Daily Mail/Tory paper of choice can print personal attacks on Corbyn or misleading headlines about Tory policies (missing the "until after you are dead" party out of the headlines on the "dementia tax" on the front page of the Daily Mail for example).

      You are right though, during an election period, all media should be bound by neutrality rules.

  9. iron Silver badge

    "You have the advantages you get of a TV ad, the emotional engagement of a video..."

    So all the usual need to skip / ignore / mute / go make a cuppa, disgust at the stupidity of the actors, advertiser and ad agency involved and the desire never to use / buy that product? On the odd occasion I'm forced to watch TV I always wonder how ad people and their clients make any money.

  10. Haku
    FAIL

    Oh just great, that's exactly what we need.

    A government chosen by people who believe what they see / read on the internet without questioning it or looking for evidence from different sources to back that information up.

    1. GingerOne

      Re: Oh just great, that's exactly what we need.

      That's what we've always had. It's just that now the people beleive what they read on the Internet rather than what they read in the papers or see on the television or hear on the radio. Same propaganda, sames twisting of the truth, same lies - just a different media.

  11. stewwy

    whats the point

    As, despite moving 4 times in my voting career, I've always ended up in a constituency where a dead body could be voted in as long as its a blue color, my vote has never been worth a damn. So no targeted ads here

    I do dutifully vote, but really whats the point, the systems rigged

    I once lived in a constituency where it might have mattered, but 'boundary changes' happened before I had a chance

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I got my postal voting card to today and I'm more confused than ever.

    I can't find strong and stable or Marxism anywhere on it so I'm just going to vote for Green as I quite like the colour and it is Spring.

    Do I need to disable ublock and scriptsafe to understand what's going on because there is no way I am going back on Facebook? It's full of adults acting like kids showing off their pets/meals/abs, complaining about life and telling me what the weather is even though my house has windows and I can see for my f*cking self.

    Back on topic, what really irks me about this is that these political parties are putting money into a company that pays no tax, which means it's really a big double f*ck you to the general population. One has to question whether the party that won't fix the tax problem will get the most help from Facebook?

    1. GingerOne

      "It's full of adults acting like kids showing off their pets/meals/abs, complaining about life and telling me what the weather is even though my house has windows and I can see for my f*cking self."

      People generally 'friend' their real-life friends & family on Facebook. If you don't like what they are saying then you need to ditch your family and find some new friends. Blaming Facebook because the people you surround yourself with don't meet your expectations as human beings is a bit rich!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Blaming Facebook because the people you surround yourself with don't meet your expectations as human beings is a bit rich!"

        Oh get you, I'm going to bring out the O Really owl for this one O.o

        I'm not on Facebook though back in the day when I was I didn't surround myself with people that met my expectations they were just "Friends" and family however Facebook turned some of them into idiots.

        Feel free to share this on Facebook just don't add my name. Thanks.

        Edit: I upvoted you for comedy value.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          LOL at people trying to defend Facebook.

          You've been well enough warned. Don't complain in the future.

  13. Mage Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Facebook

    The cat overlords must pay Zuckerberg a lot.

    1. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

      Re: Facebook

      We're more Huxley than Orwell.

      the cats are the distraction for when the "Orgy Porgy" doesn't appeal to the single dames as much as the gents.

      Keep em distracted, bury the real information under the tons of crap. Emotion over reason. be Afraid rather than logical. And as long as you get your Autogyro or iPhone, and all that Entertainment, you can ignore the "reservations".

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        Re: Facebook

        "We're more Huxley than Orwell."

        Perfect* mix of both, I'd say.

        * As in "worst of both worlds".

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wow, you're only noticing it NOW?

    you didn't notice the outright spam, suppression of dissent, and "trending" of candidates and causes that aligned with Zucky's favorite campaign donation recipient, and anyone allied over the last DECADE?

    Funny how pointing this out over the last decade was called "paranoia" and worse. But suddenly it's The Worst Thing Evar.

    Apparently as soon as "their" tools are used against them, those "tools" must be regulated, controlled, or worse. But until then, they're celebrated and promoted and defended unto death.

    Waiting for the "no books are illegal" crowd to suddenly find reasons to ban "Rules For Radicals" as "fake news instruction manual" or "hate speech". Discussions of Alinsky will be "watched" and "regulated" by "algorithms" and their human masters like anything about Hitler or Mao.

  15. IsJustabloke Silver badge
    WTF?

    I'm a bit surprised that...

    no one has pointed out the fact that no matter what flavour of government we get after next week the same shit politicians will still occupy both sides of the house.

    Seriously, May and co are horrible but anyone who believes Corbyn would be any better is a deluded idiot.

    we need to purge our entire political "class" (as in class of children) and find some adults.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So next door neighbours with contrasting political views can be watching different adverts for the same party and both end up being convinced to vote for them. True democracy, I think.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old news

    Political parties send targetted messages targetted at individuals, shock horror. That's been going on since forever. The very first time I stood for election to a local council people living in village A would get a leaflet about issues in village A, people in township B would get leaflets about issues in township B, etc. The more canvass data (likely voting intention, etc) the more targetted messages you can send. People have signed your petition about the local toilet? Send 'em a letter reminding them you saved the toilet. People came to your meeting about the local park? Another letter reminding them you got the dog muck cleaned up. Targetted messages are as old as the hills.

  18. stewgreen

    Issue with FB Groups "Suggested Grp ad-bar" pushing politic adverts

    Whilst browsing a group you see a large Ad-column running down the right of the screen

    (Even tho I have adblock turned on)

    it's marked Suggested 'Groups'

    In one group all 3 images are always like ADVERS for Labour/Corbyn Remain causes

    I made screenshots here on https://biasedbbc.org/blog/2017/05/29/start-the-week-open-thread-127/#comment-839154

    What's going on ?

    #1 Entryism, first LibMob invaded this radio4 Discussn group, then they invited ONLY LibMob mates

    So the group no longer represents Radio4 listeners to the full DIVERSITY LibMob say they love.

    #2 The Group Suggestions bar is driven by what GROUPS other members are members of.

    ..... In other groups I see that ad-bar is way different .

    ..I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with what I post/comment on.

    BTW This morning they opened 3 separate posts calling the WH interviewer of Corbyn rude ..and not really acknowledging Corbyn's own poor performance

    ...See how Metro-Bubbleworlds are created and grown.

  19. d3vy Silver badge

    The conservative add targeting is so effective that currently every advert my 10 year old son gets on his YouTube account is for the conservative party... He just wants to watch stampy... Needless to say he won't be voting for them.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      And yet people still believe that internet advertising is worth spending money on because it is so cleverly targetted using these magic algorithm thingies.

  20. BatmabooDirector

    It ain't real money.

    "election campaigns have been tightly controlled affairs with limits on how much parties can spend per constituency"

    The constant barrage of harassment from Unison to vote for the loons is controlled ?

  21. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "We are continually developing our understanding in this area"

    Not very quickly, it seems.

  22. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Conservatives outspent Lib Dems 55:1.

    So that's how you buy an election in 2017.

    Pretty cheap price for a whole country to rob.

    1. robin thakur 1

      Re: Conservatives outspent Lib Dems 55:1.

      That's not exactly hard, who on earth gives money to the Lib Dems? I'm a happy member of the Conservatives and Labour, and I even got to help choose Jeremy Corbyn (for a laugh) to see what would happen if you have a socialist lame-duck lunatic in charge of a major political party. I'll be laughing even more if he wins, more because it proves that people here are idiots, but my next move would be abroad.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Conservatives outspent Lib Dems 55:1.

        "I'm a happy member of the Conservatives and Labour"

        So you don't mind breaking at least one, maybe both, sets of rules of the organisations whose rules you accepted? Mind if we all piss in your champagne, even if we agreed not to?

        "I even got to help choose Jeremy Corbyn (for a laugh) "

        If you did vote in the leadership election, you've been lying - the rules to which you agreed (as a condition of participation) say it's Labour supporters only.

        If you didn't vote in the leadership election, you're still a liar, because you just told readers that you did vote.

        Well done that man.

        Not that the current Tory party understands the difference between honest and dishonest, between truth and fiction. Sadly the same can be said about many Westminster politicians of various parties in recent years.

        Vote early.

        Vote often.

        Vote anti-Tory - for the reasons robin thakur and many others have made very clear in recent years.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MAKE the RITE REFISION DEVISION decision uk!

    You, the COUNTRY that GAVE THE WORLD SHAKSPAR are IN THE SAME BAD SITUATION as we of AMORICAA were b4 our LAST election. We had CLIMTON how is PAYD MULLIONS BY woll STREET FOR EATIMG THE PUR and we Had TRUMO who OFFEED a new start TO ,AKE AMWRICa grate AGAIN. WITHnoble and hot bAlls LADY MALARIA by HIS SIDE. We VITED ND ]{ We chose TRUNP AND EVERYTHJ G IS GOOD. YIU SHOULD also NOT choose YOUR OWN- Corbin. He will TAKE YOUR taxes and GIB THEM TO,ISISIS WHO do. Not like the FREE WORLD BEER. THERS MOAR I could say but %>{%THEY are WATCHING. with TRUMO at our holm AMERICM IS RESPEXTSD AKK over The world even France. Vote MAY nad DO FHE same Uk. She Has HOT leg. Dog leg. Don't let ISISISISI win.

    1. Solarflare

      Re: MAKE the RITE REFISION DEVISION decision uk!

      ...huh?

    2. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: MAKE the RITE REFISION DEVISION decision uk!

      Upvoted, because it's so absurd it has to be parody. Doesn't it?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Translation: Re: MAKE the RITE REFISION DEVISION decision uk!

      Make the right decision UK!

      You, the country that gave the world Shakespeare, are in the same bad situation as we of America were before out last election. We had Clinton who is paid millions by Wall Street for hating (eating?) the poor and we had Trump who offered a new start to make America great again, with noble and 'hot balls' (sic) lady Melania by his side. We voted, and we chose Trump and everything is good. You should also not chose your own Corbyn. He will take your taxes and give them to Isis who do not like the free world. Beer. (sic). There's more I can say but they are watching. With Trump at our helm, America is respected all over the world, even (in) France. Vote May and do the same (for) the UK. She has hot legs. Dog leg (sic). Don't let Isis win.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Trollslation: MAKE the RITE REFISION DEVISION decision uk!

        TROLL. See: DO NOT FEED THE.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Trollslation: MAKE the RITE REFISION DEVISION decision uk!

          Sorry, was just trying to be helpful.

  24. AndGregor
    Coat

    On-line Government

    Let's do away with Government and turn over all decision making to on-line polls. What could possibly go wrong ? We managed to name a boat, without too much fuss..

  25. Potemkine Silver badge

    Conservatives and Face-de-bouc

    Conservatives are right to target Facebook's users: those ones are more prone to emotive reactions than using reason to make their choice. The less the voters think, the better for the conservatives.

    "British general elections are won and lost in small numbers of marginal constituencies, roughly equivalent to US swing states"

    How democratic!

    1. robin thakur 1

      Re: Conservatives and Face-de-bouc

      Sorry but if you're easily led, emotive and to be frank, rather thick, don't be surprised that unscrupulous types will try and take advantage of you from both sides of the political spectrum. It's not undemocratic if they all do it, nor is it mind control, brainwashing etc. you can just stop reading it and close your personal data harvesting...err I mean Facebook...account and live a perfectly fulfilling life. All FB and Twitter and the rest really do is make you angry at the end of the day, though not everybody will admit it.

  26. Robert D Bank

    Big money influence..

    just finds a new vehicle...

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/07/the-great-british-brexit-robbery-hijacked-democracy

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