In total, around 350,000 people liked at least one Britain First post over the six-week period. But this figure – which includes many people who may have liked a post on MPs or political correctness without knowing its origin – masked a much more active core of dedicated users liking dozens or hundreds of posts.
A more active group of around 19,000 people liked at least 10 Britain First posts over the weeks, collectively making up half of the posts’ 1.1 million likes, but a much smaller ultra-active group played a key role in pushing the content up others’ News Feeds – 559 people who each liked at least 100 separate Britain First posts in six weeks, collectively amounting to more than 100,000 likes.
BuzzFeed News examined the public profiles of this core group of 559 people. There was little evidence of bot or fake news accounts – generally the profiles were active users, often parents or grandparents largely using the site to post pictures of their grandchildren or their pets, interspersed with shared posts from Britain First and other far-right groups.
Two-thirds of the group were men, and perhaps surprisingly 1 in 3 of the group lived overseas – with the US, Australia, and Spain being most common, but also several people living in eastern Europe and the Middle East.