Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address at Facebook's F8 Developer Conference on April 18, 2017 at McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Media Watchdog Debunks Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories With Study Showing Facebook Is 'Not Censoring Conservatives'

"Right-wing media are (still) lying about censorship."

Reaffirming earlier findings, the media watchdog group Media Matters for America released a study Tuesday showing that contrary to Republican claims, Facebook is not censoring right-wing users or messages.

The group studied nearly 400 accounts focused on political news between July 2018 and March 2019, including pages reporting from a right-wing viewpoint, left-leaning pages, and pages purporting to deliver "non-partisan" news.

The research clearly showed, MMFA external affairs director Rebecca Lenn wrote on Twitter, that "Facebook is still not censoring conservatives."

Over 37 weeks, Media Matters found that right-wing pages had slightly more interactions than left-leaning pages, suggesting that Facebook could not be suppressing the accounts' ability to post content any more than it is with left-leaning pages.

Conservative accounts had an average of 372,000 weekly interactions during the time period MMFA studied, while progressive and liberal accounts averaged 369,000 interactions per week. Both left-leaning and right-leaning pages had far more activity than so-called centrist or non-partisan accounts.

Media Matters' latest report matched earlier findings in a July study, in which the group found engagement levels of right-leaning and left-leaning accounts to be roughly equal.

The study was released a day before a planned congressional hearing regarding "the supposed censorship of conservatives by tech companies," Lenn noted.

The report also pointed out that in recent weeks, ahead of a renewed push by conservatives including Donald Trump Jr. to convince the public and lawmakers that their views are being censored, right-leaning pages' interactions spiked.

"Between January 14 and March 17, the weeks leading up to this new wave of conservative censorship claims—right-leaning pages on average actually received more interactions than left-leaning pages," MMFA reported.

The group's findings directly contradicted Trump Jr.'s claim, published in The Hill on March 17, that companies like Facebook are excluding "outspoken conservatives from wide swaths of American life simply because their political views differ from those of tech executives."

"Right-wing media are (still) lying about censorship," the group tweeted.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

Intent on Appeasing Manchin, US Blocks G7 Progress on Phasing Out Coal

"Once again Joe Manchin is casting a heavy shadow."

Julia Conley, staff writer ·


Calls to 'Expand the Supreme Court' Grow as McConnell Warns He's Prepared to Steal Another Seat

"Mitch McConnell is already foreshadowing that he'll steal a 3rd Supreme Court seat if he gets the chance. He's done it before, and he'll do it again."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·


'All He Has to Do Is Sign': Group Crafts Executive Order for Biden to Cancel All Student Loan Debt

"With the stroke of a pen, Biden could grant tens of millions of Americans a semblance of financial freedom."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·


Rich Nations' Vaccine Pledge Includes Just 613 Million New Doses—Well Short of Promised 1 Billion

"A single factory could produce this number in a year if you waived patents."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·


Ocasio-Cortez Says 'Elephant in the Room' Is Senate Democrats Blocking Their Own Party's Agenda

"The argument that we need to make here," the New York Democrat said of bipartisanship's dead end, "is that it's worth going it alone if we can do more for working people in this country."

Jon Queally, staff writer ·