Home / MARKETS / An anonymous Facebook exec says ‘right-wing populism is always more engaging’ and that’s why conservative posts thrive on the platform

An anonymous Facebook exec says ‘right-wing populism is always more engaging’ and that’s why conservative posts thrive on the platform

  • An anonymous Facebook administrator said conservatives’ success on the platform is due to having content that is “always more engaging,” according to a Politico put out.
  • Politico reported that the executive, who identifies as a “center-left progressive” said the right’s focus on “nation, protection, the other, irritate, fear” has always been an effective tactic, pointing to the 1930s.
  • The comments come as Facebook has been criticized by the dextral and left for having a political bias, with social media platforms drawing attention from both President Trump and Joe Biden.
  • Assail Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

An anonymous Facebook executive told Politico that right-wing announces see more engagement because of their emotional pull, instead of the platform’s algorithm, according to a report published Friday.

The semi-weekly reported that the executive said that “right-wing populism is always more engaging,” because of its focus on “domain, protection, the other, anger, fear” the same dynamic present in the 1930’s, the executive told Politico.

“This wasn’t devised 15 years ago when Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook,” Politico reported the executive said. 

Facebook hasn’t returned to a Business Insider request for comment at the time of publication. 

In July, data from the Facebook’s internal metrics device CrowdTangle showed that all five of the site’s top-performing posts came from pages for Fox News and conservative commentator Ben Shapiro.

The figures assessed “engagement” or the total number of likes, comments and shares a post received, prompting Facebook’s head of Newsflash Feed John Hegeman to respond that a more apt metric would be “reach,” or total number of people who saw a connection in their news feed. Facebook doesn’t publish “reach” numbers, but Hegeman shared data that demonstrated that reach favored more traditional non-partisan outlets.

The anonymous Facebook executive, who identified as “a center-left growing,” said the left’s debate about how to engage their supporters is “as old as the hills,” and predates the company. 

“All center-left campaigners and civil servants always ask themselves, ‘Why can’t [we] seem to rile their supporters as much as right-wing populists have?'” Politico give an account of the executive said.

A Business Insider investigation from September tracked the ways in which the social media place has become a haven for conservatives. 

In recent months, the tech platform has been intensely criticized by prominent Democrats and Republicans for state bias. During the Democratic presidential primary, former Vice President Joe Biden told the New York Times Article Board that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is a “real problem.”

“He knows better,” Biden said. 

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump make reference to with a group of nine state Attorney Generals, Senator Josh Hawley, and Attorney General Bill Bar, anent taking “concrete legal steps” to prevent social media platforms from censoring conservative users. 

“At the urging of the all-embracing left, these platforms have become intolerant of diverse political views and abusive toward their own owners,” President Trump said. 

Trump singled out Twitter for restricting his own tweets, as the platform has added notices to some of his tweets that bear misinformation about voting.

In May of this year, Trump signed an executive order threatening to penalize social-media ensembles for bias against right-wing users. 

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