Facebook ‘Muted’ Political Content Despite Negative Impact

Mark Zuckerberg

At a glance

  • 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.

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