A list of Facebook’s most popular political articles in 2011 shows articles about the Occupy movement outnumbered stories about the death of Usama Bin Laden while a video with a tabloid-style photo of Michelle Obama shopping at Target ranked above video of President Obama announcing the al Qaeda leader’s death.
According to the site’s top 40 list for 2011, the top political story passed around the social media site came from lefty blog “Daily Kos, while a quarter of the links were published on the Huffington Post.
Andrew Noyes, a spokesman for Facebook, told FoxNews.com the list is based on the stories that received the most traffic from U.S. Facebook users — through shares, the “Like” button and pages.
Jane Hall, a professor at American University’s School of Communication and expert on politics and the media, said many of the articles on the list are items that people strongly agree or disagree with — many of the top stories focus on social issues like gay rights — so it makes sense that Facebook users would share or disseminate them.
“It looks to me as if things that were a matter of tremendous interest and tremendous debate came out on top,” Hall said.
“I would say it has more to do with contention” than news source or ideology, she said, pointing out that The New York Times did not make the list.
Earlier this month, Facebook shared a list of what it called “The Most Shared Articles of 2011,” but that list left out some of the world’s largest news organizations, including FoxNews.com, MSNBC, AOL and others.
The political news list includes five links to FoxNews.com and six to MSNBC.com.