Positive vs Negative-- The Story Of Progressives vs Conservatives... At Least On Social Media
Last month Arianna Huffington sent a memo to her staffers telling them that Facebook readers are more interested in reading "the stories of people and communities doing amazing things, overcoming great odds, and facing real challenges with perseverance, creativity, and grace" than the kind of negative stories that have often led online. That doesn't cross over the political spectrum, though. As John McDermott explained in Digday yesterday, "For publications that self-identify as conservative, the most Facebook-friendly stories typically have a 'negative' tone."
CrowdTangle analyzed the Facebook page activity for the past 12 months for 16 media companies that self-identify as conservative-- including Breitbart, Drudge Report, Fox News and IJ Review-- and 16 that bill themselves as liberal/progressive-- The Daily Show, The Huffington Post, Salon, Slate and Upworthy, to name just a few.Is it fair to point to Duck Dynasty actor Phil Robertson as an avatar of the political right? They certainly play him up to the hilt in their own circles and they were proud to present him as one of them at CPAC this year. What kind of stories does ole Phil tell? Well, he's been claiming that liberals like Obama are liars led by Satan and are worse than Nazis. That's certainly playing down to the Republican Party base. Right Wing Watch:
And the data elucidated some fascinating contrasts regarding what works best for conservative and liberal media companies on Facebook, CrowdTangle CEO Brandon Silverman told Digiday.
...“For conservative outlets, a lot of their biggest posts from the last 12 months were usually about a concrete, perceived injustice and why that meant the audience’s way of life was under some sort of attack,” Silverman said. “They were more specific and more negative. In a lot of ways, the stories were less about celebrating values than triggering the audience to stand up and defend them.”
...“Liberals want to confirm their bias that everything is okay in the world. Conservatives on the outside can only confirm their biases that the world is spinning out of control. If the world is spinning out of control, then a strong case for change is made,” [said Alex Patton, a Republican political consultant].
...“It’s a massive death spiral for public discourse,” Patton told Digiday. “It’s also well known and not new. But it is accelerating due to social media. Both sides use it as a strategy.”
There is one thing both sides of the political media aisle can agree on: The best way to get engagement on Facebook is to play (or pander) to their audience’s emotions.
During a prayer rally speech last Friday in which he opined about an atheist family getting raped and murdered, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson employed remarks similar to the speech he delivered at CPAC earlier this year about how Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, the Japanese Emperor in World War II and ISIS terrorists were all capable of killing scores of people because they didn’t believe in Jesus.
But in his Friday remarks, he added one more group to this list of violent, Satanic evildoers: liberals.
In fact, Robertson said that demon-possessed liberals in America have killed more than Stalin and Hitler, and he even found time to suggest that President Obama is among the liberals championing Satan’s lies in the U.S.:
I gave you four ideologies in the last one hundred years, I see a pattern. You say, ‘why do they do what they do, why is there always murder?’ You know what the scary thing is? The fifth ideology right in behind all of this bunch of stuff we’re dealing with now, has its roots in the United States of America? You know how many they’ve killed? You say, ‘who are they?’ People call them left-wing loons, Bill O’Reilly calls them, political correct crowd, orthodox liberal opinion. You say, ‘what are they famous for?’ They’ve killed 63 million of their own children. 63 million. More than Hitler, more than Stalin. We’re slaughtering ourselves. You say, ‘who is behind it?’ Their father is, he was a murderer, from the beginning, they are slaves to sin, they are controlled by the Evil One. Duh.
Any Jesus with them? No, no. They don’t want Biblical correctness, no siree, they will not touch this, they are trying to get around it, they want political correctness. Well, what is it? What is political correctness? Orthodox liberal opinion in matters of sexuality, race, gender. They’re arguing and debating is there a difference between a male and a female? I’m like, dude, go in the bathroom, take your clothes off and take a look, you’ll figure it out.
Satan was a murderer from the beginning not holding to the truth so there’s no truth in him, when he lies- am I dreaming? Have you ever heard this many lies coming out of Washington D.C. since you’ve been on the earth? Have you ever heard more? You say where in the world is it coming from? They champion perversion, they champion murder, aborting their children and they are champions of lies. I mean I’m listening to them and thinking, ‘dude, what?’
‘Yeah, this bunch here, they’re the kind that clings to their guns and their bibles,’ I’m thinking, yeah, we may need them. How in tarnation do you think we ran the Brits back to where they came from back there 240 years ago? It took guns and it took bibles, right? You better stay with what brought you. He was a murderer from the beginning, there’s no truth in him and when he lies he speaks his native language, the relationship between these guys and Satan. He is a liar and the Father of Lies.