The lying Tory advert that appeared on Facebook pages in Delyn. There is no Labour ‘Death Tax’ and Labour will not raise tax on UK families as described here. Your family’s economic security is in far more danger if you vote Conservative.

The Conservatives have found another way to cheat national election spending limits – on Facebook, it seems.

They have been using Facebook’s advertising system, which demands that users ‘bid’ for the limited number of slots available, to drown out others and force ‘dark’ adverts, filled with lies, on readers.

There is no regulation of this behaviour.

Delyn, where the Tories’ dirty trick was discovered, is a marginal constituency held by Labour’s David Hanson – but he will lose it if there is a swing of just 3.9 per cent to the Conservatives.

And the Tories are feeding Delyn Facebook users lies about a nonexistent ‘Death Tax’ (fabricated in an Express article), and about Labour increasing taxes for everybody (in fact, 95 per cent of earners will not be affected; only the top five per cent would have to pay more).

What about your constituency? Are you seeing Tory ‘dark’ ads instead of something useful? Bear in mind that in Delyn, they drowned out a voter registration drive – and we all know the Tories didn’t want people to register to vote, especially the young.

Dirty Tories. Don’t trust them or their ‘dark’ ads.

One of the anti-Labour ‘attack’ ads posted on Facebook by the Conservatives, focusing on the Delyn marginal constituency [Image: Facebook].

The Observer has obtained a series of Conservative party attack ads sent to voters last week in the key marginal constituency of Delyn, north Wales. Activists captured the ads using dummy Facebook accounts after finding that their own ad – encouraging young people to register to vote – were being “drowned out” by the Tory ads.

The Conservatives have refused to supply examples of adverts the party is sending to individual voters on Facebook, despite growing concern over unregulated online election activity.

Charlotte Gerada, who works for a charity, told the Observer that she and a friend had raised £13,000 in a few days with the idea of increasing the turnout among 18- to 25-year-olds in key marginals.

“Initially our adverts in Delyn were both our cheapest and our best-performing. But the day before the voter registration deadline, the price of the ads shot up. We had been paying around £1.08 a click before and it spiked to more than double that. At one point it was up to £3.40 a click. The way that Facebook ads work is that you ‘bid’ for the slots… so if the price shoots up, it means someone else is bidding against you for the same slot.”

Quentin Johns, a Facebook marketer who was advising the campaign, told them to set up dummy accounts with the same profile and geographic location of the voters they were targeting to try to figure out who was competing against them. In Delyn, they discovered ads from the Conservative party were being displayed in place of theirs.

Source: Revealed: Tory ‘dark’ ads targeted voters’ Facebook feeds in Welsh marginal seat | Politics | The Guardian

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