Facebook and The Daily Wire
Molly Butler / Media Matters

Research/Study Research/Study

The Daily Wire has earned millions of Facebook interactions amplifying anti-trans content

The Daily Wire’s network of 19 Facebook pages have earned over 17 million interactions on nearly 13,000 anti-trans posts since 2021 — equivalent to roughly one post from each affiliated page per day for over two years

A Media Matters analysis found that The Daily Wire ’s network of Facebook pages has earned over 17 million interactions from nearly 13,000 posts with transgender-related keywords — many of which amplified attacks on trans athletes, criticism of gender-affirming care, and praise for government officials restricting trans rights. These anti-trans posts come amid a long history of Facebook giving the right-wing outlet special treatment to earn high engagement and allowing it to flout platform policies.

  • Social media companies have struggled to prevent anti-LGBTQ hate on their platforms as right-wing media have ramped up harmful rhetoric against the LGBTQ community. Meta — the parent company of Facebook and Instagram — has also profited from this rhetoric, earning tens of thousands of dollars in revenue on ads with the anti-LGBTQ “groomer” slur, which perpetuates the myth that LGBTQ people put children in danger, and at least $5.7 million on over 550 anti-trans ads from right-wing media outlet The Daily Wire.

    On March 4, The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles claimed during a speech at the 2023 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that “transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely.” (Knowles doubled down on his call to “eradicate transgenderism” in a March 15 column published by The Daily Wire.) These anti-trans comments follow The Daily Wire’s history of pushing anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, including on social media platforms — where companies like Meta have given the right-wing media outlet and its personalities special treatment and allowed it to flout platform policies.

    Using CrowdTangle, Media Matters compiled and analyzed transgender-related posts from The Daily Wire’s network of 19 Facebook pages between January 1, 2021, and March 13, 2023. We found that during this time frame, these pages posted about the transgender community at least 12,940 times, earning over 17.1 million interactions on these posts. More than 93% of these interactions — over 16 million — were earned on the more than 5,800 posts from the leading accounts associated with the outlet: Ben Shapiro, Michael Knowles, Matt Walsh, and The Daily Wire itself. 

    Notably, nearly 15% of The Daily Wire’s anti-trans content on Facebook was posted in just two months last year. Over 1,050 such posts — or over 8% — were made in March 2022, when right-wing media promoted Florida’s anti-LGBTQ “Parental Rights in Education” bill, which was signed into law at the end of the month and banned discussion of sexuality or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. An additional 760 of them — or nearly 6% — were posted in June 2022, when Walsh released his anti-trans film What is a Woman?

    The transgender-related posts with the most interactions from The Daily Wire’s pages and the articles most frequently shared in the network’s transgender-related posts illuminate the anti-trans narratives being amplified by The Daily Wire — attacks on transgender athletes, criticism of gender-affirming care, and praise for government officials restricting transgender rights and care.

  • Anti-trans articles shared most frequently by The Daily Wire’s network of Facebook pages

  • The network posted a Daily Wire article that amplified anti-trans comments from Brittany Aldean, the wife of country music star Jason Aldean, at least 38 times, earning over 46,000 total interactions. The article repeatedly highlighted her comments comparing gender-affirming care to “the genital mutilation of children” and calling it “one of the worst evils.”

  • The network posted a Daily Wire opinion article attacking transgender activist Jazz Jennings at least 37 times. The article deadnamed Jennings and mocked her experience, calling it a “troubling story.”

  • The network posted a Daily Wire article that amplified a “British women’s rights campaigner” who confronted a transgender woman at the NCAA women’s championships, where a transgender athlete was competing. The network posted the article at least 35 times, earning over 43,000 total interactions. 

  • The Daily Wire’s Facebook pages posted another article that pushed outrage about a transgender woman who took first place in a women’s skateboarding competition. The article was posted by the network of pages at least 34 times, earning over 65,000 interactions.

  • The network posted another Daily Wire article about transgender athletes at least 33 times, earning over 151,000 interactions on the posts. The article, which focused on a transgender cyclist who was banned from competing in a women’s championship race, deadnamed multiple transgender athletes.

  • The network of pages posted an article — at least 32 times — that amplified an individual’s experience detransitioning, which is a rare occurrence.

  • The network posted an article that amplified Daily Wire personality Candace Owens’ attacks on Ulta for supporting transgender actress and influencer Dylan Mulvaney. The article was posted by the pages at least 32 times, earning nearly 65,000 interactions

  • The pages shared a Daily Wire article titled “Why Civilization Depends On The Strength Of Men” at least 30 times. The misogynistic article starts, “If we have anything for which to thank the utterly mad ‘transgender’ movement, it is that it has laid bare, for all to see, the relative weakness of the female body by comparison with the male.”

  • The network posted another anti-trans Daily Wire article at least 30 times. The article amplified anti-trans content from Libs of TikTok, a Twitter account with 2 million followers that constantly demeans, attacks, and pushes disinformation about the LGBTQ community.

  • The pages also posted a Daily Wire article about Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee calling for an investigation in reaction to Daily Wire personality Matt Walsh claiming that Vanderbilt University Medical Center “drugs, chemically castrates, and performs double mastectomies on minors.” The article was posted by the pages at least 30 times, earning over 11,000 interactions on the posts.

  • Anti-trans posts from The Daily Wire’s network of Facebook pages that earned the most interactions

  • Ben Shapiro: over 212,000 interactions

    Ben Shapiro_facebook post_20210211


  • Ben Shapiro: over 208,000 interactions

    Ben Shapiro_facebook post_20210503

  • Daily Wire: over 163,000 interactions

    Daily Wire_facebook post_20220404

  • Ben Shapiro: over 160,000 interactions

    Ben Shapiro_facebook post_20210125

  • Ben Shapiro: over 143,000 interactions

    Ben Shapiro_facebook post_20210304

  • Ben Shapiro: nearly 140,000 interactions

    Ben Shapiro_facebook post_20210124

  • Ben Shapiro: nearly 128,000 interactions

    Ben Shapiro_facebook post_20210502

  • Ben Shapiro: over 126,000 interactions and 41 million views

    Ben Shapiro_facebook video_20210221

  • Candace Owens: over 121,000 interactions and 1.1 million views 

    Candace Owens_facebook video_20210814

  • Ben Shapiro: over 119,000 interactions

    Ben Shapiro_facebook post_20220303

  • Methodology

  • Using CrowdTangle, Media Matters compiled all posts for Facebook pages affiliated with The Daily Wire that were posted between January 1, 2021, and March 13, 2023, and included transgender-related keywords. We reviewed data for these posts, including total interactions (reactions, comments, and shares).

    We defined posts as containing transgender-related keywords if they had any of the following terms in the message or in the included link, article headline, or article description: “trans kid,” “trans kids,” “trans child,” “trans children,” “trans boy,” “trans boys,” “trans girl,” “trans girls,” “trans man,” “trans men,” “trans woman,” “trans women,” “trans female,” “trans male,” “transgender,” “transgenders,” “transgenderism,” “gender transition,” “gender identity,” “biological male,” “biological man,” “biological woman,” “biological boy,” “biological girl,” “biological female,” “women’s sports,” “girls’ sports,” “biological women,” “biological men,” “puberty blockers,” “chemical castration,” “irreversible procedures,” “irreversible surgery,” “irreversible surgeries,” “detransition,” “detransitioner,” “gender reassignment,” “hormone replacement,” “sex change,” or “sex reassignment.”

    The following 19 Facebook pages are associated with The Daily Wire: Ben Shapiro, Daily Wire, Michael Knowles, Matt Walsh, Andrew Klavan, Candace Owens, Donald Trump is My President, Pro-America News, The Angry Patriot, Conservative News, Fed-Up Americans, Restless Patriot, The Real Patriots, The United Patriots, The Conservative, The Right News, Boycott, Don't Mess With America, and Lady Patriots.