February 23, 2017

For members of 114th Congress, partisan criticism ruled on Facebook

Facebook posts from members of the 114th Congress attracted more attention when they contained disagreement with the opposing party than when they expressed bipartisanship, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of over 100,000 posts.

The Center gathered every Facebook post issued by members of the 114th Congress between January 4, 2015 and April 30, 2016 and categorized each post based on whether or not it included expressions of bipartisanship or disagreement with the other party.

The dot plot below represents the 50 Facebook posts in each category that received the most engagement from Facebook users, as measured by “like scores.” The feed contains an equal number of posts by Democrats and Republicans.

A “like score” is the number of “likes” a member's post received, relative to the average number of “likes” received by all posts written by that member of Congress. For example, if a member’s posts receive an average of 100 likes, a post with 1,000 likes would have a “like score” of 10. This list excludes a small number of incorrectly classified posts and posts that explicitly directed the reader to like the post if they agreed with it.