A pink background with an orange image of Canada and the U.S. Images of the Facebook logo and trucks across the middle.
Andrea Austria / Media Matters

Research/Study Research/Study

On Facebook, right-leaning pages are dominating the conversation around trucker protests in Canada and the US

Right-leaning pages have earned nearly 83% of engagement on posts about the protests from politics and news pages

Right-leaning pages have dominated the conversation on Facebook about the trucker convoys in Canada and the U.S. These pages posted more frequently, often expressing support for the protests, and earned more interactions than other news and politics pages.

Key findings:

  • Posts from right-leaning pages earned nearly 83% of total interactions. Ideologically nonaligned pages made up roughly 12% of total interactions, and left-leaning pages earned just under 5%. 
  • All of the top 10 posts about the trucker protest were from right-leaning pages. These posts express support for their protests of COVID-19 mandates.
  • Since January 1, there have been 22 posts about the trucker protests in the daily top 10 Facebook posts, all from right-leaning pages. Of these 22 posts, The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro, right-wing online outlet Breitbart, and Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and Dan Bongino, have accounted for a combined 15 posts.
    • The “Freedom Convoy” in Canada began on January 22, when Canadian truckers started driving from the west coast of the country to the capital Ottawa in reaction to a new vaccine mandate for truckers entering the country from the United States. Since arriving in Ottawa, the truckers have camped out in the city and the protest leaders now say they will remain there until all COVID-19 mandates are removed. The protests have inspired a U.S. “Freedom Convoy,” which is currently in the planning stage.  

      The Canadian protests have been given significant media attention in the U.S., particularly from right-wing outlets, including Fox News. Canadian officials have also noted Americans’ involvement with the convoy -- through funding, organization, and even participation.

      There has also been significant discussion on Facebook related to the original Canadian convoy and copycat protests in the U.S. Media Matters compiled Facebook posts about the trucker protests from right-leaning, left-leaning, and ideologically nonaligned pages from January 1 through February 13 and found right-leaning pages disproportionately posted — and earned more interactions on the posts — about the protests. 

      The disproportionate number of posts about these protests by right-leaning Facebook pages contributes to the sense that these protesters and their supporters represent a popular view in both countries about COVID-19 restrictions. In Canada, an overwhelming majority of the truckers and citizens are already fully vaccinated, and the protests have received documented support from abroad. Similarly, reports already indicate that there is foreign involvement in the protests being planned in the United States as well. 

      This new data also further debunks the frequent claims from conservatives that they are being censored by the platform, as it is one of numerous instances in which right-leaning pages dominate the conversation around a political issue on Facebook.

    • Right-leaning pages posted over 62% of all related posts from politics and news pages and earned nearly 83% of total interactions 

    • Media Matters found that most posts about truckers from January 1 through February 13 were from right-leaning Facebook pages, making up just over 62% of the total posts. Nonaligned pages made up roughly 33% of the posts, and left-leaning pages made up just over 5% of the total posts. 

      In total, these posts have garnered over 32 million interactions. Out of that total, right-leaning pages earned over 26.7 million interactions, almost 83% of all interactions from politics and news pages. Ideologically nonaligned pages earned over 4 million, making up roughly 12%, and left-leaning pages earned just over 1.5 million, making up just under 5% of total interactions. 

    • A chart showing the breakdown of posts and engagement about the truckers
    • After January 24, a couple of days after the Canadian convoy had started, the rate of posts around the trucker protests spiked, particularly from right-leaning pages.

    • A chart showing the trend of posts around the truckers
    • The number of interactions with right-leaning content about the truckers also ramped up around the same time.

    • a chart showing the trend in interactions around posts about the truckers
    • While there are some spikes in the number of posts and interactions from non-aligned and left-leaning pages, they are significantly smaller than those from right-leaning pages. 

    • Right-leaning pages earned millions of interactions on posts that express support for the protests 

    • Since the beginning of January, there have been 22 protests-related posts among the daily top 10 Facebook posts from pages that post about news and politics. These 22 posts account for a total of nearly 3 million interactions. A majority of these posts are from the pages of The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro, right-wing online outlet Breitbart, and Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and Dan Bongino, who all accounted for a combined 15 of the 22 posts. 

    • Top 10 Related Facebook Posts

    • Additionally, all of the top 10 truckers-related posts during this time are from right-leaning pages. These posts express support for their protests of COVID-19 mandates.

    • Sid Miller Facebook post

      1: Over 550,000 interactions

    • Breitbart Facebook post

      2: Over 346,000 interactions

    • Women for America First Facebook post

      3: Over 315,000 interactions

    • Breitbart Facebook post

      4: Over 255,000 interactions

    • Tucker Carlson Tonight Facebook post

      5: Nearly 234,000 interactions

    • Dan Bongino Facebook post

      6: Over 213,000 interactions

    • Young Americans for Liberty Facebook post

      7: Nearly 213,000 interactions

    • Silent Majority Chooses Greatness Trump 2024 Facebook post

      8: Over 195,000 interactions

    • Fox News Facebook post

      9: Nearly 189,000 interactions

    • Women for America First Facebook post

      10: Over 187,000 interactions

    • The prevalence of this content from right-leaning pages and the interactions earned from these posts provides insight into how the right is shaping the narrative around these protests on Facebook. 

    • Methodology

    • Using CrowdTangle, Media Matters compiled a list of 1,773 Facebook pages that frequently posted about U.S. politics from January 1 to August 25, 2020.

      For an explanation of how we compiled pages and identified them as right-leaning, left-leaning, or ideologically nonaligned, see the methodology here.

      The resulting list consisted of 651 right-leaning pages, 476 ideologically nonaligned pages, and 470 left-leaning pages.

      Every day, Media Matters also uses Facebook's CrowdTangle tool and this methodology to identify and share the 10 posts with the most interactions from top political and news-related Facebook pages.

      Using CrowdTangle, Media Matters compiled all posts for the pages on this list that were posted from January 1, 2022 through January 13 and were related to truckers. We reviewed data for these posts, including total interactions (reactions, comments, and shares).

      We defined posts as related to truckers if they had any of the following terms in the message or in the included link, article headline, or article description: “Trucker,” “truckers,”“truckers for freedom,” “ottawa,” ”convoy,” “convoys,” “freedom convoy,” “freedom convoy 2022,” “people’s convoy,” “peoples convoy,” “convoy to dc,” “convoy to ottawa,” “coachella valley,” “CB. Zello,” “www.givesendgo.com/FreedomConvoy2022,” “March 4,” “March 5,” “Trudeau must resign,” “fuel cans,” “gas cans,” “James Bauder,” “Benjamin Dicher,” “Jason laface,” “Tamara Lich,” “Pat King,” “Brian Brase,” “Edward Durr,” “truck driver,” “truck drivers,” “truck driver's,” “honk honk,” “honkler,” or “clown world.”