From BBC Trending: Alongside the main parties, small groups and even individuals are jockeying for political influence by buying micro-targeted ads on Facebook.
They are not-for-profit organisations, small informal groups and – in at least one case – a student with a personal mission and a bit of spare cash. They’re bypassing the political parties and buying political advertisements directly on Facebook.
BBC Trending and Newsnight have been asking people to send in examples of the political ads they have been seeing on the UK’s biggest social network. We’ve seen plenty of advertising put out by the major parties, but also ones promoting about a dozen politically themed pages unaffiliated with any official campaigns. It’s likely there are many more of what we at BBC Trending are calling “micro-Pacs” (in the US, independent campaign groups are called “political action committees”) than our survey has picked up.
Chris Henderson runs one of these groups. He’s clearly left-leaning, though some of the groups also come from the right of politics. Henderson’s Facebook page is called “Stop the Tories 2017“. Henderson is a postgraduate psychology student and a former local communications officer for the Green Party, but says that his current initiative is not endorsed by or co-ordinated with the official Green campaign.