In the last 24 hours, Donald Trump has posted the top four posts on U.S. Facebook pages, highlighting the president’s consistent reach in social media amidst arguments that Republicans are over-censored online.
The president dominated 40 percent of the highest reaching link postings on Facebook last day, according to the Twitter account @Facebook’sTop10, run by Kevin Roose, the New York Times tech columnist.
From the US Facebook pages, the link postings with the highest reach in the last 24 hours are from the US:
1 Donald J. Trump
2. donald j. trump
3. donald j. trump
4. donald j. trump
5. franklin graham
6. fox messages
7. dan bongino
9th Fox News
– Facebook’s Top 10 (@FacebooksTop10) December 4, 2020
Trump has had wide reach in social media during his presidency, and his personal Twitter remains the sixth most followed profile in the world.
President-elect Joe Biden has had 68 million fewer followers on Twitter to date. After the election, Biden gained more than 8 million followers, while Trump lost more than 200,000, but Trump is still way ahead in terms of overall commitment.
One of Trump’s most powerful weeks on Facebook and Instagram this year took place in early October after he was hospitalized with COVID-19 and millions of supporters flooded his accounts with preferences and comments, The New York Times reported.
But despite its reach, the president and his allies have railed against social media platforms for flagging controversial content during the 2020 election.
In the two weeks following the November 3 election, Twitter flagged more than 90 tweets posted to Trump’s account, describing them as misleading or controversial. In total, the company provided the President’s posts with over six different labels, with the most common labeling being content related to election fraud.
During a congressional hearing with Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, Republicans criticized the big tech companies, arguing that they unjustifiably censor conservative online content.
Senator Ted Cruz accused Twitter of being “partisan and selective” in its policies, saying the Senate Democrats wanted technology companies to “silence votes that the Senate Democrats disagree with.
That day Cruz issued a series of “Twitter tests” to see if the platform would censor his own posts about voter fraud.
Others accused the social media platforms of censoring posts by Trump, but not censoring repressive content from officials around the world.
“I just don’t understand how you can label the President of the United States. Have you ever turned off a tweet from the Ayatollah,” asked Senator Cory Gardner, Republican from Colorado.
In September, the President himself said: “Every year, countless Americans are banned, blacklisted and silenced by arbitrary or malicious enforcement of ever-changing rules,” in reference to social media censorship.
However, studies have repeatedly shown that conservative voices dominate online sites.
A Facebook executive told Politico in September that “right-wing populism on the platform is becoming increasingly engaged” and explained that conservative voices on the site have an overall advantage.
An analysis conducted by the media and the impartial think-tank Institute for Strategic Dialogue found that, overall, right-wing influencers in the social media, media companies and other GOP supporters led the online conversation about the Black Lives Matter movement and voter fraud – two of the most heated topics of the year.
Steven Johnson, Professor of Information Technology at the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce, told USA Today: “I am not aware of any academic research that concludes that there is a systemic bias – liberal or conservative – in either the politics of content moderation or the prioritization of content through algorithms by the major social media platforms.
“If anything,” he added, “there is evidence that content from very conservative news sites is prioritized by Facebook algorithms.