A Dutch investigative television programme claims that Facebook accepted its fake news advertisements aimed at sabotaging Dutch elections next year.
Researchers from Brandpunt+ say they created a fake Facebook account and various adverts claiming that ballot boxes were closed or that party leaders were involved in nefarious activities, to be shown to certain target groups on the day of provincial elections next March.
They claim that Facebook accepted all adverts for publication except for one claiming CDA leader Sybrand Buma was manipulating the housing market for personal gain – deemed to be ‘discriminatory.’
‘Before the adverts went online, I took them off,’ writes one researcher. ‘Spreading fake news in the name of a public broadcaster didn’t seem a good idea, so they didn’t reach anyone.’
Facebook has reportedly told the researchers it is taking the instance ‘very seriously’ and launching an internal investigation into why the other fake news adverts were sanctioned.
The Dutch government announced earlier this week that it is launching a campaign to combat fake news around the local and European elections next year.
DutchNews.nl has contacted Facebook to ask for a response to the allegations.
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