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Fox News Dominates Facebook By Inciting Anger, Study Shows

Facebook's algorithm overhaul was supposed to make users feel happier, but it doesn't look like it did.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced an algorithm overhaul last year intended to make users feel better with less news in their feeds and more content from family and friends instead.

But the data is in, and it shows Fox News rules the platform in terms of engagement, with “angry” reactions to its posts leading the way.

According to a NewsWhip study published this month that examines Facebook News Feed content from Jan. 1 to March 10, the cable network was the No. 1 English-language publisher when it came to comments, shares and reactions.

The outlet far outpaced its competition, with NBC, the BBC, the Daily Mail, CNN and others lagging behind.

The difference is even more glaring when ranking outlets only by the number of angry responses they trigger with Facebook’s reactions feature.

By that measure, Fox News is leaps and bounds ahead of other pages, including that of right-wing website Breitbart and conservative Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro.

While Harvard’s Nieman Lab on journalism points out that Fox News’ popularity on Facebook may have occurred without help from an algorithm, it begs the question of whether Zuckerberg’s vision for the platform is truly coming to fruition. 

In January 2018, Zuckerberg told users he had “a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being.” 

He said he was hoping to promote “meaningful interactions between people” and that the algorithm overhaul would result in “less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media” and “more from your friends, family and groups.”

While overall engagement on Facebook has skyrocketed this year compared with 2018, the power of the platform’s algorithms remains unclear.

A Facebook spokesperson did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on the changes and their potential effects on the spread of news content.

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