Oh dear, this will come as a body blow to all those Remainer conspiracy theorists who keep claiming that the Russians operating on Facebook played a big part in the UK Brexit vote.

PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:

The former leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, has come out and said that there is 'absolutely no evidence' that Russia used Facebook to influence how people voted in the 2016 EU Referendum.

Talking to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Nick Clegg said that Facebook had investigated the claims and found no, what he called 'significant attempt' by actors external to the UK to skew the vote.

He also dismissed claims that the data company, Cambridge Analytica did anything to persuade people to vote to leave the EU in the 2016 vote.

The Guardian and Carole Cadwalladr are definitely not going to be happy about that little nugget, are they.

But the former Lib Dem boss is of course now vice president of Facebook.

And he said:

"Much though I understand why people want to sort of reduce that eruption in British politics to some kind of plot or conspiracy – or some use of new social media through opaque means – I'm afraid the roots to British Euroscepticism go very, very deep."

Going on to say that the people of the UK had been far more influenced by the traditional mainstream press.

So, you would therefore think that he would now be arguing for more freedom of speech via social media, wouldn't you? Surely he should be railing against holders being stripped of their social media accounts or being demonetised for holding of differing opinions or engaging in edgy humour etc.

But no, what he told the Today programme is that Facebook wants tighter regulation and that there was now a 'pressing need' for new rules on privacy, election rules, the use of personal data and decisions on what constitutes hate speech or harmful material.

And when asked if Facebook could not do that themselves, he said that it was not a matter for private companies, but for legislators.

"This is not something that big tech companies can or should do on their own," he said, "I want to see companies like Facebook play an increasingly mature role, not shunning regulation but actually advocating it in a sensible way."

But, if Facebook is so squeaky clean and it is the mainstream media that is the dirty player here, then surely he should be pressing for the mainstream media to be investigated and more heavily regulated as the priority?

And the Labour MP David Lammy showed he was none too pleased about some of Clegg's claims, by posting on Twitter:

"What about the disinformation spread by Russian state media, RT and Sputnik, on Facebook? Hope Zuckerberg paid you a high price for any integrity you had leaving office."

And he followed it up with another Tweet on the contents of a parliamentary report on the matter.

Great to see the left having a spat with itself.

Or is it the left having a spat with a former leftie turned corporatist?

Sources:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/facebook-nick-clegg-russia-interference-brexit-eu-referendum-a8971656.html

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48740231

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