Anti-Brexit comedian claims Facebook is censoring his adverts

PUBLISHED: 14:37 05 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:11 05 February 2019

Comedian Matt Forde. Photograph: Ian West/PA.

Comedian Matt Forde. Photograph: Ian West/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

Remain comedian Matt Forde has claimed that Facebook is banning him from promoting his show which focuses on those that have exploited Brexit for their own game.

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While the debate continues to rumble on about whether the social media network had a role to play in influencing the Brexit result, the social media website surprised one anti-Brexit comedian by banning him from using the word “Brexit” in his adverts.

Forde has accused the network of “censorship” for preventing the outspoken Brexit critic from promoting his latest work.

Using the name of the show, Brexit Through The Gift Shop, apparently contradicts their advertising policy.

The comedian tweeted: “Facebook have banned adverts for my tour because it has the word Brexit in the title. Given what they let Cambridge Analytica get away with, I clearly should have offered to harvest the personal data of my friends in return for an advert instead.”

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He later told the Sun: “There’s no way around this other than not using the word Brexit because the word breached Facebook rules about political issues ‘of national importance’”.

He added: “I’m flattered that they think I’m a greater threat to their users than the collapse of global democracy... I’ve never been censored before, and I’ve worked for the BBC. I never thought that in 2019 I’d have my freedom of speech restricted”.

A spokesperson for Facebook denied it was related to use of the word “Brexit” or his political persuasion, and instead said the comedian would need to go through further authorisation checks before using political keywords in adverts.

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“Anyone who wishes to run political ads can do so if they complete the authorisation process, and we welcome Matt to try this himself at facebook.com/id.

“We introduced this requirement to bring more transparency to political ads on the platform, which goes further than anywhere else that allows political advertising in the UK,” the statement said.

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