The New York Times has grudgingly acknowledged the success of right-wing and conservative media on Facebook, worrying that it might indicate a looming Trump victory in November. In Particular, the Times notes that Breitbart News posts have been shared 4 million times in the past 30 days, “roughly three times as many as posts from the official pages of every Democratic member of the U.S. Senate combined.”
Despite Facebook’s pattern of censorship against the pro-Trump right, including bans of prominent Trump supporters and removals of Trump ads, conservative media continues to perform well on the platform, a fact the New York Times now admits.
Every morning, one of the first browser tabs I open is CrowdTangle — a handy Facebook-owned data tool that offers a bird’s-eye view of what’s popular on the platform. I check which politicians and pundits are going viral. I geek out on trending topics. I browse the previous day’s stories to see which got the most reactions, shares and comments.
Most days, the leader board looks roughly the same: conservative post after conservative post, with the occasional liberal interloper.
The NYT also notes that Breitbart News outperforms every Democrat senator, combined:
Facebook posts by Breitbart, the far-right news outlet, have been shared four million times in the past 30 days, roughly three times as many as posts from the official pages of every Democratic member of the U.S. Senate combined.
In a comment to the Times, a Facebook spokesman attempted to downplay the success of conservatives, hinting that high engagement doesn’t necessarily mean the posts are getting seen by a wider Facebook audience.
“These points look mostly at how people engage with content, which should not be confused with how many people actually see it on Facebook,” said Facebook spokesman Joe Osborne in his statement.
Bokhari’s upcoming book, #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election is currently available for preoder at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.