Facebook attempted to mute the majority of political posts in its efforts to avoid controversy, according to internal documents.
The social platform could have achieved its goal of appearing less political by demoting political and community content, an internal analysis concluded, but doing so would come at a “high and inefficient cost.”
The demotion also had detrimental effects on its users. Traditional news outlets such as CNN and Fox News saw their content go down by 40% to 60% in engagement, while less trustworthy outlets saw their engagement rise. Users also reported dissatisfaction with the platform and donated less through Facebook’s fundraising feature.