Facebook posts from Ben Shapiro consistently dominate engagement rankings of link posts, following reports suggesting the platform “shadow-boosts” his page.
Data tracked and collected by CrowdTangle and analysed by the Twitter page “Facebook’s Top 10,” consistently show that link posts from the official Ben Shapiro page are in the 10 most engaged posts on the platform by pages from the United States. This data includes reactions, comments, and shares on the posts, but not reach or link clicks, although with a high engagement, both latter categories are also likely to be rather high.
Not only are posts from Shapiro almost always in the top 10 posts on Facebook, but it is also not uncommon for his page to take multiple positions within the top 10, ranging up to even an overall majority of the top 10 spots.
In fact, from the 10th of April this year, Shapiro has had at least one post in Facebook’s top 10 link posts every day. Other common big conservative pages joining Shapiro on the lists are Dan Bongino, Fox News, and Sean Hannity, although none come close to replicating Shapiro’s success on the platform within this metric.
The release of the data comes following a report from February that Facebook was given Shapiro’s page a “shadow-boost,” with many of his posts being pushed into the feeds of users who had never interacted with his content. The report from Buzzfeed, which mostly erroneously focused on claims that Facebook is somehow a safe-haven for supporters of Alex Jones and Infowars, detailed changes made to a Facebook feature called In Feed Recommendations, which would insert posts into the Facebook feeds of people that they didn’t follow, but were similar to content they liked already. As National File reported:
Buzzfeed gives the example of someone who followed the page for a specific football team, who may then see content from the NFL put into their feed. However, the IFR was not meant to recommend political content, yet users began complaining that they were seeing posts from Ben Shapiro in their news feeds, “even though they had never engaged with that type of content.”
“When the issue was flagged internally, Facebook’s content policy team warned that removing such suggestions for political content could reduce those pages’ engagement and traffic, and possibly inspire complaints from publishers,” Buzzfeed noted. “A News Feed product manager and a policy team member reiterated this argument in an August post to Facebook’s internal message board.”
In April, Shapiro was caught on a hot mic ordering staff to “cut” comments he made on pansexuality during a livestream “before it’s like, immediately reposted on the site.” Shapiro expressed concern that “I’ll get boycotted” if the comments were included in the on-demand version of the video. Coincidentally, Shapiro began his unbroken streak in Facebook’s top 10 link posts only a day later, but was not in the top 10 the day after he was caught on a hot mic.
When a caller asked Shapiro on his March 18th radio show about the use of fetal baby DNA in coronavirus vaccines, noting that the vaccine companies don’t have any liability and have access to a special government-sponsored payout system for those who sustain critical injuries or die because of vaccines, Shapiro made the case for mandating them anyway. He claimed that personal liberty only counts when it comes to vaccines if the vaccine is simply designed to protect you from a disease, and not to achieve herd immunity.
Read More Feedzy