Trump remains a driving force on Facebook despite being banned from the platform: study

Facebook posts about the Biden administration that mention former President Donald Trump get more than twice as many commitments as those that don’t, according to a new Pew Research Center study released Monday.

The high level of interactions (shares, comments and reactions, including likes) with content about the former president in the first months of President Biden’s term shows the extent to which Trump’s presence resonates on Facebook despite the company banning him. on their platforms.

“Mentions of Donald Trump in one post proved to be an important catalyst for engagement,” the Pew report reads. “Posts that did not mention Trump, on average, generated approximately 9,200 engagements, while those that included the former president had more than double that number, about 19,800.”

The report looked at 25 US Pages accumulating the highest total average monthly engagement on Facebook from March 8-14. By studying the 5,458 posts from those accounts, the researchers found that posts by self-identified liberals were more likely to mention Trump than self-identified conservatives. Conservatives, by contrast, were more obsessed with immigration than liberals.

Democratic strategist Thomas Mills said he thought Pew’s analysis showed Republicans simply can’t quit Trump.

“He has clearly usurped all the values ​​of his party. They don’t represent anything, ”Mr. Mills said. “The only thing that matters in the Republican Party is Donald Trump and he is the most pathetic and dangerous thing I have seen in my entire career.”

Mills said the report’s observations showing liberals posting about Trump more than conservatives were logical because he believes the Republican Party only cares about Trump.

The evaluations of the main Facebook pages of the Biden presidency were more negative than the broader media coverage on television, radio and news websites. The Pew report found that 36% of top users’ posts about Biden’s management were negative compared to 21% of positive posts. Among the broadest media coverage, Pew reported that 28% of its stories had a negative evaluation of the Biden administration and 31% revealed a positive evaluation.

While Facebook’s engagement with the accounts that generate the most engagement may not translate into higher ratings or readership on other outlets, Pew said 36% of adults report receiving their news on Facebook rather than other social media platforms.

The Facebook pages Pew analyzed included President Donald Trump Jr.’s son, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, former President Barack Obama, and Occupy Democrats, among others.

Despite pushing engagement on Facebook, Trump is not prepared to return anytime soon. Earlier this month, the company extended its ban on Trump until at least January 2023.

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