Jul 24, 2018

Democratic lawmakers bounce back on Facebook

Reproduced from a Pew Research Center report; Note: Shaded regions represent 95% confidence bands for the estimated trends; Chart: Axios Visuals

A new Pew Research Center study finds that after the 2016 election, Democrats in Congress posted on Facebook more often than Republicans, which is a startling difference from prior to the 2016 election.

Why it matters: The same Pew study from 2017 found that before Donald Trump became president, Republicans were much more likely to leverage social distribution networks, like Facebook, to communicate with their constituencies over press releases.

  • This was particularly true for some of the most partisan Republicans, like members of the Liberty/Freedom Caucus. Members of the Liberty/Freedom caucus shared more than 20% more news on Facebook than their Progressive Democratic Caucus counterparts before the election.

Between the lines: Some political experts Axios has spoken to — including high-level Democratic Hill staffers during the Obama years — argue that Democrats during that time were more focused on message substance over delivery, which is why they often took to traditional modes of communication, like press releases.

Go deeper

Exclusive: Facebook adding part-time fact-checking contractors

Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Facebook is creating a new pilot program in the U.S. that will leverage part-time contracted "community reviewers" to expedite its fact-checking process.

The big picture: The community reviewers will help to corroborate or debunk stories that Facebook's machine learning tools flag as potential misinformation. This will make it easier for Facebook's fact-checking partners to quickly debunk false claims.

Go deeperArrowDec 17, 2019

Facebook won't stop letting politicians lie in ads

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anyone who was waiting for Facebook to change its controversial political ad policies — particularly the one that allows politicians to lie with impunity — will have to keep waiting, the company made clear Thursday.

Driving the news: Facebook released a raft of small changes to its rules around political ads, including giving consumers the option to block political ads from their feeds.

Go deeperArrowJan 9, 2020

Zuck's 2020 campaign

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday he's giving up setting annual challenges for himself and trying to take a longer view. But 2020 has already thrown down a challenge for him: threading a needle between business demands and political landmines.

The big picture: Zuckerberg has to grow revenue and users, yet not get blamed for tipping another election — and not buckle on what he views as the core value of free speech. Despite an onslaught of bad press, he seems to be succeeding ... for now.

Go deeperArrowJan 9, 2020