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Facebook bans Tory election advert

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Facebook bans Tory election advert

Facebook has banned a Conservative party election advert after the BBC complained that the party used unauthorised footage of political editor Laura Kuenssberg and News at 10 host Huw Edwards.

Facebook found that the Tories had infringed the corporation's intellectual property (IP) rights with the video, after a complaint from the BBC, which warned that the footage “distorts our output and which could damage perceptions of our impartiality”.

In one clip Kuenssberg is featured referring to a “pointless delay to Brexit”, though she appears to have been quoting the Prime Minister.

In another clip newsreader Huw Edwards says: "Another Brexit delay". The clip ends by urging voters to "Stop the chaos. Vote Conservative".

But the Tories – who are also running the adverts on YouTube and Twitter – denied that the video had been edited in a way "that misleads or changes the reporting".

In a statement, Facebook said: “We have removed this content following a valid intellectual property claim from the rights holder, the BBC.

"Whenever we receive valid IP claims against content on the platform, in advertising or elsewhere, we act in accordance with our policies and take action as required."

The move to delete the video was welcomed by Edwards, who tweeted: "My thoughts on this kind of stunt are unprintable.”

Facebook's latest figures show that the Tories spent more than £421,000 on Facebook ads over the past month, with £35,654 spent in the past week alone.

The party spent £6,000-7,000 on the pulled advert featuring BBC footage, which Facebook figures show made up to 400,000 appearances on users' feeds.

The move by Facebook comes after the Conservatives were sharply criticised by Twitter for rebranding their official press account as 'FactCheckUK' during a televised debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn.

The party also came under fire from Good Morning Britain show after it edited an interview the programme carried had out with Labour's Sir Keir Starmer to use in one of its social media adverts.

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