These are the U.S. Congress members with the largest Facebook following

Which Congress members are the most popular on Facebook, the world’s largest social network? Chances are it’s the most liberal or conservative members, according to an analysis released Monday by the Pew Research Center.

The center examined the number of followers on the official Facebook pages of U.S. Congress members. Using data from congressional roll call votes, they determined which lawmakers were the most conservative, liberal or moderate.

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In the Senate, the most liberal and conservative members had a median of 78,360 followers compared to moderates, who had a median of 32,626 followers.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont and a presidential candidate, was the most popular among all U.S. lawmakers with more than 7 million followers.

Prominent senators in both parties drive relationship between ideology and Facebook followers

In the House of Representatives, the most liberal and most conservative had a median of 14,361 followers. Moderates had a median of 9,017 followers as of July 25.

Trey Gowdy, a Republican from South Carolina who chaired a committee to investigate the 2012 Benghazi attack, had the most Facebook followers in the House: 1.3 million.

During and after the presidential election, social media sites such as Facebook were accused of having an ideological “echo chamber” that only reinforced people’s political beliefs.

The Pew Research Center said it isn’t exactly clear why more left- or right-leaning politicians are more popular on Facebook, but it pointed to some possibilities.

Past research shows that very liberal or conservative members drew more engagement from users by sharing posts that “expressed indignation or disagreement on political matters.”

Media outlets are more likely to cover more liberal and conservative members. And more liberal Democrats were more likely to learn about the election from Facebook.

Photo: A view of an Apple iPhone displaying the Facebook app. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)


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