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Facebook accused of allowing anti-Brexit fake news on its platform

File photo of Facebook logo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 19, 2019, 10.03 AM (IST)

Mark Zuckerberg-led social networking giant, Facebook, has been accused of allowing 'anti-Brexit' fake news on its platform ahead of this week's crucial vote on British Prime Minister Theresa May's deal. 

According to British media, the social networking website hosted advertisements that stated Britain's exit from the European Union could hurt the environment, endangered orangutans and sea turtles in particular. 

The posts suggested the UK could scrap plans to ban plastic straws after its exit. 

It is being reported that a couple of Britain's leading campaign groups, People’s Vote UK and Best for Britain, paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to Facebook to gather support for a second referendum.

May's deal for Britain to leave the EU was defeated earlier this week by 230 votes. She has appealed to lawmakers to come together to try to break the impasse. 

British Prime Minister Theresa May made no change to her demands in talks with European Union leaders despite her Brexit plan being defeated by British lawmakers earlier this week, news agency Reuters reported citing Telegraph newspaper.

May's demands continued to focus around either a legally binding time-limit for the Irish 'backstop'; a right for Britain to unilaterally withdraw, or a commitment to a trade deal finalisation before 2021 to prevent the backstop from coming into force, the report said, citing unnamed senior EU diplomatic sources.

The backstop is an insurance policy designed to prevent the return of border checks on the frontier between EU-member Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, US regulators have met to discuss imposing a fine against Facebook for violating a legally binding agreement with the government to protect the privacy of personal data, Reuters reported citing the Washington Post.

The Federal Trade Commission has been probing Facebook since last year. It has not finalised its findings in the Facebook investigation or the total amount of the penalty.

(With inputs from Reuters)

Story highlights

According to British media, the social networking website hosted advertisement that stated Britain's exit from the European Union could hurt the environment, endangered orangutans and sea turtles in particular.