Tags: Media Bias | social media | facebook | divisive | fake news

Pew Study: Divisive News a Hit for Lawmakers on Facebook

Pew Study: Divisive News a Hit for Lawmakers on Facebook
President Donald Trump and defeated Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton had a contentious roast before the 2016 election. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

By    |   Monday, 18 December 2017 10:57 PM

Divisive news is a hit on Facebook for members of Congress, according to a Pew study that looked at posts from lawmakers, Politico reports.

The Pew Research Center looked at 447,684 posts between January 2015 and July 2017, and found 42,219 of those posts linked to stories from national news outlets. Forty-eight percent of the links shared on Facebook by congressional members were to outlets predominantly linked to by members of just one party. Five percent of the links pointed to outlets that were exclusively linked to by members of one political party.

The study, titled, "Sharing the News in a Polarized Congress," also found Democrats started sharing more national news on Facebook after Donald Trump won the presidential election in November 2016.

"The Facebook audience re-shared those posts 21 percent and 22 percent more often than if the stories came from outlets that fell in the middle of the score's range," the Pew Research Center said in its study.

Links from "the most liberal or conservative" news outlets got more shares and likes.

"The new analysis finds some evidence that the ways that Facebook audiences interact with congressional posts containing news links may be modestly reinforcing the ideological divide," researchers said.

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Social media posts from polarizing publishers were more popular than others among lawmakers, according to a Pew Research Center study.
social media, facebook, divisive, fake news
Monday, 18 December 2017 10:57 PM
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