Facebook Doesn’t Care About Joe Biden

The site’s new “Election Insights” tool makes plain what we kind of already knew: nobody is talking about Biden online. He’s literally flatlining.

Just a couple weeks behind Twitter, Facebook has gotten into the political data game. Like Twitter’s Political Index, Facebook’s Election Insights tool (hosted by CNN) was created in conjunction with a third-party data processing company; Facebook used Mass Relevance while Twitter worked with Topsy.

It’s a fairly straightforward indicator of how much a specific candidate is being mentioned, a metric that won’t be that useful until we all have some time to get used to its correlation with other, more established indicators. But one thing does stand out: Biden. His is the saddest trend line, flat and low and appropriately almost a grayish blue. He has just 367k likes as of today; Paul Ryan, who passed him within two days of being announced as Mitt Romney’s VP, is nearing 2m.

Just for kicks, I added up the Facebook likes for Onion Joe Biden, an uncannily well imagined alternate universe VP character who loves his Trans Am almost as much as he loves the ladies. It’s not quite 367k, but the 75.8k figure I came up with is both respectable and probably a little low. The Onion, however, which posts all its Joe Biden stories to its newsfeed, has over 2m followers.

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