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Republicans like Facebook, Democrats go for the press releases. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

Republicans go straight for the emotional responses of social media like Facebook, while Democrats prefer the more polished press releases. But they do have things in common — like mentioning bipartisanship on social media, even though it rarely actually happens.

Why it matters: There's a general perception on the Hill that when it comes to communications styles, Republicans typically start with the message, while Democrats start with the policy — which carries through to their communications styles. Overall, Pew Research Center found that last year, Republican members were much more likely to post more Facebook messages over press releases than Democrats.

  • Republicans are more vocal about "fake news" in state legislatures, while Democrats are in Congress: According to an analysis by Quorum, Democrats in Congress have mentioned "fake news" in press releases and social media announcements 562 times compared to Republicans, who have only mentioned the term 190 times. But in state legislatures, where Republicans hold significant majorities, they've mentioned fake news 1,014 times, compared to 917 times for the Democrats.
  • Democrats love talking about Russia: When mentioning "fake news," Democrats reference "Russia" four times more than Republicans, per Quorum. Democrats referenced Russia 690 times in their statements on fake news, compared to Republicans who mention it 177 times.

There are some things that lawmakers on both sides have in common.

  • Members talk the talk, even if they don't walk the walk: There have been more than 14,000 mentions of bipartisanship by members of Congress on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Medium in 2017 so far. On the other hand, there have been more than 2,400 mentions of partisanship on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Medium) by members of Congress in 2017.
  • Everyone likes to go negative: The same Pew study shows that partisan criticism by members of Congress is used often, and generates the most engagement on social media. The study, which surveyed congressional Facebook posts and press releases concludes that legislators, like the media, go negative in their outreach to the public.

Go deeper

Biden administration makes first move on data privacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration is launching its first big effort on privacy policy by looking at how data privacy issues affect civil rights.

Why it matters: An administration perspective on privacy policy could be key in developing a long-awaited national privacy law by putting the White House stamp on how to regulate privacy.

Axios Investigates

Exclusive: Airbnb hosts Xinjiang rentals on land owned by sanctioned group

Data: Axios research, Airbnb, Australia Strategic Policy Institute's International Cyber Policy Centre; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Airbnb has more than a dozen homes available for rent in China's Xinjiang region on land owned by an organization sanctioned by the U.S. government for complicity in genocide and forced labor, an Axios investigation has found.

Why it matters: The listings expose Airbnb to regulatory risk under U.S. law. They also land yet another American tech company in the crossfire between the U.S. and China.

For CEOs, social media has lost its fun

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

CEO Jack Dorsey's departure from Twitter shows that, in Silicon Valley today, social media is becoming a field to flee.

Why it matters: Coming on the heels of Facebook's name change and new metaverse focus, Dorsey's resignation is another sign that the industry now views the massive social networks it built over the last two decades as buggy "legacy applications" mired in annoying social problems.