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In April, 63% of the links to abortion stories with the most engagement originated from right-wing sites, while 72% of posts on the social media site with the most engagement came from right-wing pages.
Nearly 30% of the most popular links to stories were published by the anti-abortion websites Life News and Live Action. More than 25% of the most popular abortion-related posts also came from both organizations’ Facebook pages.
Other popular right-leaning sites the study cited include Ben Shapiro’s the Daily Wire and a Christian site known as the Stream.
The study accused these sites of perpetuating “sensationalized anti-choice rhetoric and harmful misinformation.”
One of the false narratives being promoted is the idea that pro-choice Democrats are endorsing “infanticide”: the murder of an infant.
It found that 23% of links to stories from right-wing sites advocate for bans on abortion after six weeks.
In total, the study examined the top 278 links on the topic of abortion. Of those links, 175 came from right-leaning sites and garnered more than 8.6 million interactions total.
In comparison, left-leaning sites accounted for just 23 of those links and earned 1.2 million interactions. Sites described as not being politically aligned had 80 links and produced 3.8 million interactions.
“Overall, 10 of the top 13 domains with the most viral links related to abortion belonged to right-leaning sources; three belonged to websites without political alignment,” Media Matters wrote. “Seven of the 10 websites whose top-engaged links got the most Facebook interactions were right-leaning; of the other three, two were without political alignment and one was left-leaning.”
Abortion became a hot topic after Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio recently passed laws that either outright ban abortion or greatly restrict access to it
- #StopTheBans protests draw thousands across the country in support of abortion rights
- Nonprofit groups express concern with pop-up abortion networks
- Tomi Lahren says the Alabama abortion ban is ‘too restrictive’
- Here’s what you can do about Alabama’s abortion ban
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.