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Average Facebook activity & engagement of U.S. Congress members 2016 & 2020

In the first five months of 2020, the median U.S. Congress member posted on Facebook an average of 49 times per month. In comparison, in the first five months of 2016, the median U.S. Congress member posted an average of 33 times per month.

Average Facebook activity for median members of U.S. Congress in the first five months of 2016 and 2020

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Source

Release date

July 2020

Region

United States

Survey time period

January 1, 2015 to May 31, 2020

Number of respondents

1,388 respondents

Supplementary notes

The source collected every Facebook post and tweet created by every official and unofficial account maintained by every voting member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives between Jan. 1, 2015, and May 31, 2020. The resulting dataset contains nearly 1.5 million Facebook posts from 1,388 congressional Facebook accounts and over 3.3 million tweets from 1,362 congressional Twitter accounts.
In most cases this report characterizes social media activity by members of Congress in terms of averages and totals based on the median representative. When examining a particular party or timeframe, researchers first compute the relevant statistic for each member – such as their total number of posts or their average reactions and shares per post – and then select the representative in the middle (the 50th percentile).
When viewed as a simple total or average, many social media metrics (such as posting volume or audience engagement statistics) can be skewed by a small number of particularly prolific or popular users in a way that obscures the day-to-day reality of the majority. Therefore, the median serves as a useful baseline for measuring the behavior of the “typical” member of Congress and tracking widespread trends across Congress as a whole. As such, the words “median” and “typical” lawmaker are used interchangeably throughout the report.

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Statistics on "Facebook usage in the United States"

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