Trump’s Covid-19 Scare Propels Him to Record Facebook Engagement

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Contracting Covid-19 might have put President Trump within the hospital, jeopardized his re-election marketing campaign, and drawn consideration to his administration’s failures to comprise the lethal pathogen. But it’s been nice for his Facebook web page.

For the week that ended Saturday, the president obtained 27 million reactions, shares and feedback on his Facebook posts, in response to knowledge from CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned analytics platform.

That quantity broke the president’s earlier weekly file of 25 million interactions, which got here in November 2016, the week he was elected. (Mr. Trump’s highest single-day complete was on Election Day that 12 months, when he obtained 12.three million interactions.)

The president’s most-engaged submit got here on Saturday, the day after he was flown to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. It was Mr. Trump’s first look on social media after his hospitalization, and he claimed his remedy was “going well, I think!” The submit obtained greater than three million interactions.

A submit by Mr. Trump two days later, during which he informed his followers, “don’t be afraid of Covid,” bought greater than 1.5 million interactions. The submit was broadly criticized by medical specialists for downplaying the dangers of the virus, and critics known as for it to be taken down from Facebook and Twitter. But neither firm took it down, saying it didn’t pose a direct menace of bodily hurt.

Facebook did take down one other of the president’s posts, during which he falsely claimed that Covid-19 was much less deadly than the flu. Twitter left the identical submit up, however lined it with a warning that it violated the corporate’s guidelines on Covid-19 misinformation.

Mr. Trump responded to that takedown by calling for the repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a regulation that shields web platforms from some lawsuits. The president has repeatedly claimed that Facebook and different social networks are biased towards conservatives, regardless of proof that right-wing content material is a few of the highest-performing materials on the platforms.

Engagement knowledge doesn’t seize how broadly posts are seen in customers’ feeds, or whether or not the reactions to them are optimistic or damaging. But a lot of the responses to Mr. Trump’s posts seemed to be from well-wishers and folks hoping for a speedy restoration. Of the two.5 million interactions on his Saturday submit saying his remedy was “going well,” practically all have been accompanied by the “like,” “heart” or “hug” emoji. (Only 1,200 folks reacted with the frowny-face emoji.)

Mr. Trump has been considered one of Facebook’s hottest accounts for years. But within the months main as much as the election, the engagement on his web page has been rising, permitting him to avoid the mainstream media and turning him into a significant broadcaster in his personal proper. Last month, the president obtained 87 million Facebook interactions — greater than CNN, ABC News, NBC News, The New York Times, The Washington Post and BuzzFeed mixed.

Joe Biden, Mr. Trump’s Democratic challenger, additionally had considered one of his best-ever weeks of Facebook engagement, with 4.7 million interactions — lower than one-fifth of Mr. Trump’s complete.

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