As well as the technical problems Facebook users seem to be experiencing today , the social networking emporium seems to be having another potentially explosive issue. Vodafone, the AA, Virgin Media and First Direct are all reported to have withdrawn their advertising from Facebook after their ads appeared next to British National Party (BNP) content.

The problem is that ads were appearing next to BNP groups on the site. Since companies can't control the kind of content they appear next to, they have withdrawn their advertising.

A spokesman for the BNP told the BBC that there was "nothing wrong" with the BNP. "Unfortunately the media have created a bogeyman and really the fault lies with the media, who for some reason have vilified the BNP, and it has scared these people off."

New Media Age (NMA) magazine broke the story earlier today, alerting Vodafone and First Direct to the problem. eBay, by contrast, defended its positioning on Facebook, telling NMA, "It is a tricky issue but...they are an official political party despite how distasteful we find them."