Why the right-wing has a massive advantage on Facebook
A company executive responds to claims of bias.
NEW: Why are right-wing FB pages so popular? A Facebook exec argues the msg is just more visceral: "Right wing populism is always more engaging...Nation, protection, the other, anger, fear. That was there in the 30s. That's not invented by social media"
Facebook says that it’s algorithm is neutral but the right-wing is just BETTER at connecting with people on a “visceral level.” But it was HUMANS at Facebook who CHOSE to make their algorithm favor content that elicits visceral emotions
This is shoddy logic from the Facebook executive. Humans design the Facebook algorithm, and "engagement" isn't some intrisic quality but one defined by Facebook engineers.
“Right-wing populism is always more engaging," a Facebook executive said in a recent interview with POLITICO, when pressed why the pages of conservatives drive such high interactions
“Right-wing populism is always more engaging." So why build a network that excels at amplifying angry populist content at the expense of more accurate, less visceral content? #facebooklogic is not the only possible social media logic
Facebook exec says right-wing drives more engagement because its "populism is always more engaging," as it speaks to "an incredibly strong, primitive emotion" (
David Cheems Golumbia
2/ this has been understood by a few of us working in digital studies for a while, but it's incredibly hard to make it get traction. see The Revolution That Wasn't by
Referring to the FT and tabloids like this suggests the unnamed exec was Nick Clegg. More of British point of reference. "It's why tabloids do better than the [Financial Times], and it's also a human thing."