Written by Ashton Snyder on
 May 7, 2024

39 Occasions of Facebook's Electoral Influence in the US Since 2008

Newsbusters revealed that Facebook has continuously engaged in actions that could influence election outcomes.

Since 2008, Facebook has engaged in activities that have raised questions about its role in the political discourse of the United States, from censoring content to suspending user accounts during critical election periods.

The social media giant has demonstrated a complicated stance on free speech, with its actions becoming a focal point during election cycles. These activities have sparked debates across the political spectrum, reflecting the platform's significant influence on public discourse.

Facebook's Early Steps Toward Censorship Begin in 2012

In one of the early instances in 2012, Facebook suspended an account belonging to a veteran-led Political Action Committee over a meme concerning the Benghazi attack. This was one of the first signs of Facebook's growing role in political censorship.

The controversy over Facebook's handling of content continued into the 2016 elections, where allegations surfaced about biases in the platform's Trending News section. Reports indicated a suppression of conservative topics and censoring support for political figures like Bernie Sanders.

Increasing Censorship Observed During the 2020 Elections

By the 2020 election cycle, Facebook's intervention in political content had intensified. The platform removed numerous political ads and posts, including those from then-President Donald Trump, which signaled a peak in its censorship activities.

Facebook's actions drew widespread attention when it placed an indefinite suspension on President Trump's accounts in early 2021, a move that underscored the platform's powerful role in political communication.

New Policies in 2024 Affect Political Content Reach

In the lead-up to the 2024 elections, Facebook and Instagram have started to limit the accessibility and recommendations of political content. This policy affects a range of presidential candidates, reflecting a continued cautious approach to political engagement on the platform.

Despite these measures, Facebook has made several public commitments to free speech. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has emphatically supported the principle of free expression, acknowledging its complexities but underscoring its importance for progress.

Responses and Reactions to Facebook's Censorship

Responses to Facebook's actions have been mixed. Andrew Noyes, then-manager at Facebook, clarified that the removal of the Benghazi-related meme in 2012 was an error and apologized for any inconvenience.

An anonymous former curator of the platform's Trending News feature remarked on the subjectivity of content management, noting that what was censored or promoted could vary significantly depending on the staff on duty at any given time.

Instagram, a subsidiary of Facebook, explained its 2024 political content policy, stating that while they do not want to interfere with followers of political accounts, they also aim to avoid promoting political content from non-followed accounts.


Facebook's evolving approach to political content, marked by periods of intense censorship and strategic policy adjustments, continues to stir discussions on the balance between free speech and responsible communication. The platform's impact on political dialogues remains a significant concern as it navigates the challenges of moderating content while trying to uphold its commitment to free expression.

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About Ashton Snyder

Independent conservative news without a leftist agenda.
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