LONDON — Facebook has warned people in the UK that local elections are taking place on May 4 — even though many of the people who saw the alerts are nowhere near any of the elections that are taking place.
Posts began appearing in people’s Facebook News Feeds this week which claimed that “elections may be taking place in your area on 4th May.”
It’s true that there are local elections in the UK on May 4, but Facebook doesn’t appear to have properly targeted its posts to people in the areas where the elections are actually taking place.
Here’s what the posts look like:
Multiple people in London told Business Insider that they had seen the posts about upcoming local elections, even though there are no elections being held in the city on May 4.
Elizabeth Renfrey, head of growth at fashion app KNOMI, said that “I had one too – lead to confused googling for local elections at 3am last night.”
Another Twitter user, Craig Stevens, posted “@facebook Please don’t tell me there are local elections in my area when there aren’t. #meddlingwithdemocracy #nootherwaytoreporterror”
This isn’t the first time that Facebook has encouraged people to vote. For years it has used News Feed posts to persuade people to vote in upcoming elections. The Times reported in June that Facebook lead to over 100,000 young people registering to vote in the EU referendum in one day.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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