Dec 8, 2019

General Election 2019: Has your local Facebook group been hijacked by politics?

It's not a forum devoted to politics - but rather a Facebook group normally filled with pictures of beaches, posts about yoga classes and promotions for local Christmas markets. The power vacuum at the top allowed aggressively political users to run riot, according to Russell Hall, a plant biologist who runs a separate local politics-focused Facebook group in his spare time. As election rows hit fever pitch, several members of the Facebook group stepped in and managed to take control. We assembled some of the feuding members for a discussion IRL. The three women who spoke to us all said they'd joined the group for the same general set of reasons: to find out more about local charities and upcoming events, and to share pictures of their pets with fellow residents. The group has around 9,500 members - equivalent to around half the local population.

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