Poll Context: A 4 month study by WND shows a massive reduction in Facebook engagement for Conservative sites. The study’s results can be confirmed by many other conservative sites that were not included but have seen a similar reduction in engagement.
A four-month WND study of Facebook traffic and engagement patterns of prominent alternative news sites with a more “conservative” perspective confirms recent charges that the social-media giant actually ignores its own rules and guidelines at the expense of these online enterprises.
The issue of Facebook bias erupted just recently when former staffers who worked on the company’s Trending Topics fixture said in a report in the tech blog Gizmodo they were told to suppress certain conservative issues, and promote liberal topics.
The company explained that the Trending Topics stories are picked by a software formula, and then reviewed by staff members, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg first denied the social network’s editors suppress conservative news from its website feature.
Zuckerberg then went further, saying he wants to invite “leading conservatives and people from across the political spectrum” to talk about the allegations about “Trending Topics” on his website.
He said he couldn’t find evidence to support the concerns.
Facebook Vice President of Search Tom Stocky went further, denying the allegations, writing on the site:
“My team is responsible for Trending Topics, and I want to address today’s reports alleging that Facebook contractors manipulated Trending Topics to suppress stories of interest to conservatives. We take these reports extremely seriously, and have found no evidence that the anonymous allegations are true.”
But statistics generated by Facebook itself may conflict with that determination.
And WND CEO Joseph Farah said a meeting is a good idea.
“If Zuckerberg wants to meet with someone whose business was victimized by his company, he just needs to tell me where the meeting is,” he said.
WND used data provided by Facebook itself to page managers (Facebook.com/WNDNews) in its insights tab, and tracked several news sites through the Pages to Watch feature since the start of 2016. The result uncovered was that, even though the number of “likes” on such sites has gone up, the rates of engagement have gone down.
WND compared the performance of the WND page posts and posts with similar pages on Facebook to track weekly growth and engagement versus the growth and engagement of competitors.
This offers insight on how WND, and other companies like TheBlaze.com, DailyCaller.com, Breitbart.com and IJReview.com are performing on Facebook through the metrics of Total Page Likes and the Engagement for the week the page had.
Facebook defines Engagement rate as the percentage of people who saw a post and reacted to, shared, clicked or commented on it. Factors that influence engagement rate include users’ comments, shares and likes.
WND divided engagement by total page likes to get the engagement as percentage of fan base number. This was the manner WND tried to determine the value of increasing the total likes for a fan page. For competitive analysis, WND wanted to measure growth versus similar pages.
At the end of January 2016:
TheBlaze.com had 1.8 million likes and an engagement rate of 27.59 percent (of the total fan base)
Breitbart.com had 1.6 million likes and an engagement rate of 100 percent
WND.com had 568,000 likes and an engagement rate of 38.47 percent
DailyCaller.com had 1.4 million likes and an engagement rate of 41.58 percent
Washington Free Beacon had 621,300 likes and an engagement rate of 27.97 percent
Washington Examiner had 599,000 likes and an engagement rate of 43.29.
Read more at WND.COM