Facebook has begun censoring President Donald Trump’s posts on their platform as part of a clampdown on “controversial content.”
In January, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to deprioritize “news” from the newsfeed – admitting that users would no longer see updates from most of the news outlets they follow.
However, hidden in the small print was additional plans to also deprioritize the Trump Facebook account.
Westernjournal.com reports: Since the announcement, Trump’s official Facebook page saw a 45 percent decline in total engagement, dropping from over 4.7 million engagements to approximately 2.6 million engagements, Breitbart reported.
Average engagement on the president’s Facebook posts also dropped by about 38 percent, from 71,228 average engagements to 44,465 average engagements.
The number of times Trump has posted on Facebook has not declined.
Before the algorithm change, Trump made 67 posts in 13 days without a drop in engagement.
Trump posted at about the same rate the 13 days after the change and saw a decline in engagements, as shown in Breitbart’s graph above.
When compared to Democrat political figures like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, Trump’s engagements seem to have taken the hardest hit.
It is important to note that while Sanders and Warren could have also seen a decline in engagements, the impact would not be comparable because they already had fairly low engagements when compared to Trump.
When asked by Breitbart, Facebook acknowledged that the algorithm change could have caused the decline, and pointed to their announcement post.
“Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease,” the post read. “The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it.”
After Trump’s election, the media, politicians and even Facebook employees accused Facebook of helping the president-elect win by spreading fake news.
Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein said to the platform, “You’ve created these platforms, and now they’re being misused, and you have to be the ones to do something about it … or we will,” Wired reported.
Now, Facebook is making those changes. In his post, Zuckerberg said, “Our focus in 2018 is making sure Facebook isn’t just fun, but also good for people’s well-being and for society. We’re doing this by encouraging meaningful connections between people rather than passive consumption of content.”
He added, “We made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day.”
Now that Brad Parscale has been appointed as Trump’s 2020 election campaign chief, Facebook could expect pushback if Trump’s engagements continue to fall.