Facebook could play a decisive role in the election, it has been claimed, as campaigners say the social media site swung the EU referendum in favour of Leave.
Leading members of campaigns which backed the UK’s bid to leave the EU and Donald Trump’s presidency told the BBC’s Panorama that the social network played a key part in the outcome of the Brexit vote and the US election, with Britain’s upcoming poll thought to follow suit.
The unprecedented use of the site by the campaigns allowed them to single out specific audiences with targeted posts, the strategists said.
Gerry Gunster, political campaigner at Leave.EU, hailed Facebook as a “game changer” and said: “You can say to Facebook, I would like to make sure that I can micro-target that fisherman in certain parts of the UK so that they are specifically hearing that if you vote to leave that you will be able to change the way that the regulations are set for the fishing industry.
“Now I can do the exact same thing for people who live in the Midlands who are struggling because the factory has shut down. So I may send a specific message through Facebook to them that nobody else sees.”