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Political Posts Draw More Angry Reactions On Facebook: Study

Written By Tanmay Patange | Mumbai | Published:

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  • Most engaged headlines were related to topics such as death, suicide, guns, murder, politics, abortion, crime and religion
  • The study also compares Facebook’s overall engagement rate in 2019 within the same period from the last two years

When Facebook did some major algorithmic to its news feed last year with the aim of “bringing people closer together,” little did we know that its efforts will show more angry reactions among Facebook users! According to a new study published by NewsWhip, a social media engagement tracking company, users are angrier since the last major newsfeed overhaul and at the same time, topics such as religion, abortion and politics draw more engagement.

“It’s been just over a year since Facebook announced their algorithm change, shaking up the world of social publishing,” researchers note.

Following are the content on Facebook that drew most engagement this year so far. The data gathered by NewsWhip focused on the following period: January 1st to March 10th, 2019. As you can see, most of the headlines were related to topics such as death, suicide, guns, murder, politics, abortion, crime and religion. Similarly, most shared and commented headlines were no different either:

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The study also compares Facebook’s overall engagement rate in 2019 within the same period from the last two years. In a nutshell, Facebook has significantly improved its engagement game at the beginning of this year, topping the numbers since 2017. Apparently, 2018 was not a great year for Facebook in terms of posts engagement.

According to this study, political posts generated the most number of angry reactions on Facebook. In fact, politics (36 per cent) dominate the top 100 stories in 2019, followed by Soft/General Interest (17 per cent), Death (11 per cent), Science (10 per cent), Hard/General (8 per cent) and Economics (6 per cent).

“Outside of political content, there were not many angry reactions on Facebook’s native content, and Angry reactions made up fewer than one percent of the reactions to the top 10,000 posts,” researchers added.

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However, as far as angry reactions are concerned on Facebook, there are two major scenarios: Either people are angry with the content or the event or a topic described in the content. Either way, people are angrier. However, the study showed that no other category drew as many angry reactions as politics. It also denotes that posts shared by mainstream publishers have the most engagement and angry reactions than others.

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