Facebook's Democracy UK page, then and now. More than 160,000 people 'liked' Facebook's Democracy UK page during the 2010 general election. It has since been taken over.


Facebook has recovered control of a contested URL which once pointed to its much-hyped politics project Democracy UK.

As of April 15, the page was occupied not by Facebook but by someone called Alex, who had a clear dislike for the Conservative Party.

The page, launched by Facebook at the time of the 2010 general election, attracted more than 160,000 likes at its height and was still being used by political parties as recently as last November. But as of April 2015, the page was instead linking to the personal profile of Facebook user Alex Romane instead.

That 'new' Democracy UK page had just two posts, both of them featuring images crudely critical of the Conservative Party. Below George Osborne a caption described his job as "creating poverty and unemployment". David Cameron and Ian Duncan Smith got similar treatment.

Facebook corrected the error after WIRED.co.uk made the social network aware of the hijacked page. The page now points to Facebook's Politics UK page, which is managed by the Press Association.

Facebook itself dubbed the 2010 vote the "social media election", with the Democracy UK page hosting its own mock election to gauge public opinion. An app was also developed to 'rate the debate', allowing Facebook users to give live reaction to the leaders' debate.

A partnership with YouTube also saw party leaders answer questions posed on the Democracy UK Facebook page. At the time Facebook said its election coverage marked "the dawn of the digital election" and was a "a transformative moment for democracy in Britain".

But with just three weeks to go until the 2015 general election Facebook's flagship Democracy UK page was home to a picture labelling the Conservative Party "hypocritical benefit fraud bastards".

Democracy UK was still being updated by Facebook in November 2014, with the SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie hosting a live question and answer session.

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